Lessons from a winning media company that takes no advertising
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
America’s Test Kitchen, with its two print magazines Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, flies under the radar of people who don’t cook — but it’s an excellent (and rare) example of how a media company can survive and thrive in 2014.
One way America’s Test Kitchen, which launched withCook’s Illustrated magazine in 1993*, has flourished by giving away very little content for free. In fact, it only bundled together access to its three subscription websites — AmericasTestKitchen.com, CooksIllustrated.com and CooksCountry.com — last year for $69.95 annually, and you still have to pay for the print magazines separately. Those print magazines have over 1.3 million subscribers; the websites had over 500,000 paying subscribers as of last year.
The Federalist has a lengthy interview with America’s Test Kitchen CEO Christopher Kimball. Foodies should read it in full, but there are great lessons about online media strategy too.