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TheDeal Unveils Redesign, Maintaining The Balance Between Subs And Ad-Support

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Financial news mag TheDeal is touting the new blogs and videos that is part of its latest redesign, but the company wants to be clear: it is not budging on altering the size and scope of its paywall. "For us, it's not a question of if there's more or less behind the subscription wall or if more of our content is strictly ad-supported," said Kevin Worth, president and CEO of the mag's parent company, The Deal LLC, in an interview with paidContent. "We basically just wanted to simplify and clarify that divide. Up until now, TheDeal had five different subscription models. Now, we've essentially got one."

Ad supported, no subscription needed: So instead of five options, readers are being give total access to TheDeal.com without having to subscribe. The site will offer new community and commentary functions. Furthermore, readers will have access to the entire issue online with archives back to May 2008. Most of the site went free back in August 2008, around the time it began beta testing its subscription-based offering, The Deal Pipeline.

The paywall: The Deal Pipeline is the mags's search platform. It houses the company's "proprietary news" and data, whch Worth said involves the reporters' researched articles and profiles on more than 50,000 firms and 40,000 individuals involved in the sell side and buy side of dealmaking. The Pipeline will also include commentary and video along with targeted outside content. The service also has The Daily Deal, a twice-a-day digest of the breaking news. More after the jump.

TheDeal's difference: Unlike most paywalls at papers like WSJ and FT, TheDeal is not sold to individuals; it's licensed to companies, who then make it available to employees. "This was a two-year process," Worth said of the redesign. "A number of companies have talked about emulating the hybrid subscription/ad-supported model we've had in place for a while. And we're constantly having the discussion amongst ourselves. It's not an either/or situation in terms of deciding what to we make available to subscribers and what we have supported by ads. But we're not thinking of any drastic changes, though the I wouldn't say the ad market is doing that great these days. And we are seeing double-digit growth on the subscription side, as readers still need to know the where the opportunities are for M&A deals or auctions. Having that specialized content is what continues to separate us."


By David Kaplan

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