Fortune is going to go behind a paywall next month as part of a sweeping redesign of the magazine and website.
The overhaul will also see the print magazine cut back to 10 times a year — and drop photos of business leaders from the cover, replaced by artistic concept covers.
The move comes just over a year after Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon finalized a $150 million deal to buy the title from Meredith in December 2018.
“We’re making money, but with our owners’ permission, we’re investing it back into the product,” said Alan Murray, the CEO and president of Fortune. He said the magazine, founded in 1929 by Henry Luce, used artistic covers for the first 30 to 40 years of its existence.
Starting in April, the US cover price, currently $6.99, will be raised to $9.99 for regular issues and $12.99 for double issues.
The number of issues will be cut by two from its current 12-times-a-year schedule, but Murray said the print version will be on a heavier weight paper and will be offered as part of digital packages. “We want to focus on the people who value us most,” he said.
Sometime next month — the exact date is not yet nailed down — Fortune.com will introduce a paywall with three tiers of subscription pricing. Digital-access-only will be priced at an annual rate of $49 a year, or $5 a month.
The second tier, known as Access Plus, will cost $99 for a full year, or $11 a month, and will include a subscription to the print magazine.
The top tier, Premium, will cost $199 a year, or $22 a month, and will include the print magazine plus access to videos featuring business leaders who participated in Fortune conferences, including the Fortune Global Forum, Most Powerful Women Summit, and the Brainstorm Tech conference.
The total workforce is comprised of 206 people, with 85 devoted to editorial, including 70 in the US, 11 working on the Chinese-language edition produced in Hong Kong and four based in Europe. After years of cutbacks, Murray said, editorial added 13 staffers in 2019.
Today, Fortune does just under $100 million a year, with about 40 percent derived from its conference and exhibition businesses.
Print, once the engine that drove the brand, is bringing in just over 30 percent of the revenue, with digital accounting for about 20 percent.
Murray said that after years of declining revenue, Fortune has “stabilized.”
He added, “We’re not declining. Once we’re done with the redesign, we’ll be skyrocketing.”
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