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March 18, 2020

Magazines Lift Paywalls on Coronavirus Content

WWD: On Friday, Condé Nast confirmed to WWD that it had decided to lift the paywalls on all COVID-19 stories at Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Wired to help keep readers informed as the situation develops further each hour. Other U.S.-based Condé publications, including Glamour, GQ and Teen Vogue, do not currently have paywalls. The New Yorker introduced a metered paywall in 2014, while Wired and Vanity Fair followed suit in 2018 as a part of a wider industry trend to boost profits against a backdrop of falling advertising revenue in the media world. The move to make COVID-19 content free follows Condé Nast Italy‘s announcement that it would offer digital copies of all its titles for free for the next three months, including Vogue, GQ, Wired, AD, La Cucina Italiana and Condé Nast Traveller… It also launched a Vanity Fair Italy issue dedicated to Milan, distributed for free in the Lombardy region, one of the most severely hit by the COVID-19 outbreak... [Outside Condé], Vox Media has made all New York Magazine stories about the deadly virus free, as well as on The Cut, Vulture, Intelligencer, Grub Street and The Strategist. The other Vox Media brands don’t have a paywall. The Atlantic, which only introduced a paywall last year, is also doing the same. Since the beginning of last week, it has made its most vital coronavirus coverage available to everyone, regardless of a subscription. In a note to readers, editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg said, “This moment demands the widest possible access to accurate reporting and rigorous analysis.” A rep for The Atlantic said it's experiencing a massive surge of readers seeking "the scientific clarity, government accountability and practical guidance our stories provide. We’re also seeing that people are eager to support — with a subscription — reporting that helps them navigate this uncommon moment,” she added. Hearst Magazines didn't respond to request for comment, but only has a paywall at Runner’s World. Meredith Corp., which owns People magazine and InStyle, does not use paywalls across any of its brands. Some newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, moved to unlock some content earlier last week"...


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