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“Money” Magazine

I realized something interesting about “Money” magazine today…and I’m not sure what it says about the magazine’s editorial, promotional, and sales strategy.

First, I should mention that I really, really enjoy “Money”. Since they retooled the editorial (hipper) and demographic focus (25-55 year olds) of the magazine, it’s improved leaps and bounds. I happily subscribe to it, and have enjoyed reading it cover-to-cover.

But it’s in reading it cover-to-cover that I noticed something interesting. Or, at least, something interesting to me, a cartoonist who just moved his entire archives to a free site: Every story from the print version of “Money” is repeated, for free, at money.cnn.com. All of ’em. For free.

Granted, not all at once. They dribble them out over the course of the month. But if you’re a savvy reader, and check the site at least once a week, you’ll get all of the articles that appear in the magazine.

This seems like an ineffective “loss leader” for print subscriptions, so…I’m at a bit of a loss as to their strategy, here. Keep in mind that, while their demographic is lusted after, there’s not a huge amount of targeted advertising on the site itself, so that can’t be paying the bills.

Could it be that CNN is paying a tidy enough sum for the extra content? Or is there something I’m missing here?

I’d love to hear your thoughts over at the Sheldon forum. I’m a bit flummoxed.