It’s the season for trying new reader payment models. A few weeks after it rolled out a new website, BuzzFeed News started testing paid memberships. A step toward getting reader contributions into the revenue mix looks like another step to a separation between the news and lifestyle division (for the record, the company has maintained it’s committed to its news operation.)

If there were any time for a news publisher to test the reader revenue waters, now would be the time, with high interest in the news and a spurt of publishers putting up online paywalls. BuzzFeed News wants to see if it can get a piece of that revenue pot before it runs out (The number of people who will pay for news and how much they’ll pay is limited, even if no one knows where that limit is.)

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