Marco Arment and Subscriptions vs Sharing

The battle of the paid vs shared web has been raging on for years, and still no content provider seems to have struck a balance between the two.  Marco Arment’s iPad publication “The Magazine” is one such content provider, and it recently announced a change from a subscription-only policy to a metered paywall, more like the one the New York Times uses.  This struggle calls into question where the line should be drawn between free and paid content, how sharing should be treated, and how advertising plays a role in internet media.  Traditional advertising continues to decline in value, and for the first time, subscription revenue exceeds advertising revenue for the New York Times and the Financial Times.  For smaller providers like “The Magazine,” is there a way to balance free content with paid content?