As media sites around the internet contemplate erecting paywalls to make up for lost revenue, Salon.com is moving in the opposite direction. Long a proponent of the subscription model, the politics and culture site today announced a redesigned website that backs off of its subscription model in favor of more engaged advertising and shorter content. The company is hoping to increase its readership with shorter, faster posts and make up for lost revenues in a new place: ecommerce.
Starting the day after Thanksgiving, Salon will launch a permanent online store that sells retail items the publisher thinks will dovetail with its readers’ interests. While it’s not clear that Salon will be able to counter recent revenue losses, the move represents a step that many media companies are likely to make: revenue diversification.