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Lessons from a winning media company that takes no advertising

3 lessons from a winning media company that takes no advertising Tech News and Analysis


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 —, and — 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. 

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Astonishing how many people they've convinced to pay subscription fees.

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