It appears that Huffington Post’s attempt to increase revenues from subscriptions to cover advertising losses may have failed. Huffington Post added a special banner to its website that solicited subscriptions from April 20, 2019 through the middle of July. Coincidentally, Huffingtonpost.com removed the subscription solicitation banner from its website shortly after Florida Family Association reported its desperate attempt to generate revenue and questioned how long Verizon would put its shareholders at risk of more losses from the vitriolic website. While the banner has been removed the offer to subscribe is less noticeably posted on the website.
There are several reasons to believe that Verizon’s subscription plan failed.
First, Huffington Post’s own CEO said subscriptions won’t work for most websites like Huffingtonpost.com. Digiday published a report on April 18, 2018 titled: HuffPost’s Jared Grusd: Subscriptions won’t work for most publishers. The article reports in part:
The New York Times has proved to be a success story for publishers contemplating a pivot to subscriptions. But HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd says a subscription business is not for everyone, particularly digital-first news media organizations.
“A lot of people look at the New York Times as a gold standard,” said Grusd on the Digiday Podcast. “But [you have to] establish a brand that over a long period of time stands for something so great, and there’s a strong enough connection with your audience that a meaningful number of people would reach into their pocket. Most digital-first news and media organizations are not there yet in terms of their relationship.”
Jared Grusd’s use of the words “digital-first news media organization” clearly describes Huffingtonpost.com.
Second, if the subscription plan was working why would Verizon stop it after a couple of months and if it was successful why not close access to Huffingtonpost.com to anyone who had not paid the subscription fee?
Even though Mr. Grusd said such subscription plans won’t work Verizon had to try because Huffington Post lost money in 2018 and would lose more in 2019 according to Verizon’s 2018 Annual Report. Verizon 2018 Annual Report, page 46 states in part:
Our Media business, which operated under the “Oath” brand during 2018 and is now referred to as Verizon Media, experienced increased competitive and market pressures throughout 2018 that resulted in lower than expected revenues and earnings. These pressures are expected to continue and have resulted in a loss of market positioning to our competitors in the digital advertising business.
Since Huffington Post continues to lose money and Verizon’s hope to increase revenue from subscription fees appears to have failed how long will Verizon continue to subject its shareholders to operating losses which devalues its common stock?
Could the “increased … market pressures throughout 2018” that “are expected to continue and have a resulted in loss” have been caused by Florida Family Association influencing over 1,050 companies (97% of advertisers) to stop advertising at Huffington Post? How long will Verizon subject its shareholders to Huffington Post operating losses caused by companies that decline to advertise because of website’s vitriolic content?
Huffingtonpost.com routinely publishes vitriolic articles that promote dangerous Islamist propaganda and inflame negative attitudes towards Christians, Jews, American troops, police and white people. Huffington Post articles have defended Sharia law, defended the Muslim Brotherhood, fundraised for the Council on American Islamic Relations, blamed Christians for worldwide conflict with Muslims, promoted an anti-Semitic blog, encouraged Islamist demagoguery, and promoted other Islamist propaganda. Examples of HuffPost's vitriolic, leftist hate and TWENTY FIVE examples of Islamist propaganda articles are posted here at this floridafamily.org article.
Verizon is correct when it states “these pressures are expected to continue.” Florida Family Association will continue to vigorously counter one of the top leftist sites in America that publishes Islamist and leftist propaganda.
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