April 25, 2001 05:22pm
Salon.com Offers Premium Service with Adult Content
by: Company Press Release
(PALO ALTO, CA) -- The Internet magazine Salon.com on Wednesday launched a new subscription service that offers premium content, including what it calls ``erotic art and photography,'' for a $30 annual fee.
The premium service is designed to bring in additional revenue for Salon, which has depended mostly on advertising to support its free Internet magazine. Salon's business has suffered along with many Internet content sites, which have lost some of their original dot-com advertisers and had trouble attracting larger corporate advertisers.
A Salon spokesman downplayed the presence of the erotic content on the new premium site, and said that Salon.com has long had a Sex section on its free site, that from time to time featured erotic material like nude photos. He said people may find the lack of advertising on the premium site equally or more appealing than the erotic content.
Along with the new erotic material, people who subscribe to the premium service will get additional articles from some of Salon's most popular writers, as well as audio downloads of selected books.
Adult content ranging from the mildly erotic to hard-core porn is widely recognized as one of the best business models on the Internet, since it attracts customers who are happy to pay for the material.
The popular Internet media site Yahoo! Inc earlier this year expanded the number of pornographic videos and DVDs from its shopping service, saying such products would help it to be the largest enabler of e-commerce on the Internet.
Yahoo reversed its policy and pulled the porn products from its site after receiving an onslaught of customer protests, but several other major Web sites continue to provide a lot of adult content.
Salon declined to disclose how many subscribers it had signed up for the new premium service. It will continue to publish a free online magazine without the premium content.
When Salon last reported financial results in January, it said it ended the year with 2.7 million unique users, down from 3.4 million at the end of 1999. The money-losing company also cut 20 percent of its staff in January to conserve cash.