Business Idea: Subscribe to Tagged Magazine Articles

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Darren Herman has a nice post asking someone to help him start a new website featuring RSS headlines tailored to individual subscribers. Darren’s post reminded me of an idea I had last week…

One industry that clearly falls under the long tail effect is the magazine industry. While many magazines make some of their content free available online, for the most part I have stopped subscribing to print magazines because there are few I read cover to cover. Nevertheless, magazines are still proliferating and some B-list mags, like blogs, occasionally have great articles I would love to read. The problem is – I never hear about them.

My Idea.

I would love to create a website where magazine publishers submit all their article and image content, tagged, into a big database. Users then pay a monthly subscription to “subscribeâ€� to tags that interest them. Then at anytime, a user can log into their account and access that month’s articles tagged with the keywords they subscribe to. Articles could come from any magazine source. Personally, since my interests are so varied, I might subscribe to keywords such as: mountaineering, entrepreneurship, red sox, venture capital, starbucks, and brooklyn heights.

Such a website would be great because users would be exposed to a ton of fresh, tailored content from sources they otherwise might have known about. While one could argue that subscribing to tags accomplishes the same thing, subscribing to a heavily tagged phrase in like “social media� produces too many irrelevant links.


The owner of the website benefits via revenue split with the contributing magazines, plus offers advertising on the users’ homepages.

Magazine publishers benefit from a new revenue source (people who otherwise would not subscribe, are essentially now paying for individual articles). In addition, the magazine publisher extends their reach and in the process may build the subscriber base as users are increasingly exposed to new publications. Also, in order to view the article, the user might be pushed back to the source website.



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