Rob at BusinessPundit comments:
If anyone who reads this blog works for Fortune or Business2.0, I have a complaint. Both of those magazines are great reads, but you are hurting your business by limiting online access so dramatically. If you would make a handful of articles available each month for free, many business bloggers would link to them, you would get more traffic and a result more subscribers. Fortune used to have a lot of free stuff, but it seems now that everything is subscriber only after the first page. I am a subscriber, but I can't share some of your best articles with the rest of the blogosphere. Fast Company has the right idea. Make just a taste of the magazine available initially, then when the new issue comes out make most of the previous issue accessible by anyone. Media people in general seem afraid to give something away, which prevents you from gaining the following that you really deserve.
I imagine that Jackie or Ben at Church of the Customer would say that these mags aren't following the evangelism tenet of Bite-Size Chunks: find something to give away in order to spread the word and get greater return. One of their blog posts on this topic dealt with bite-sized chunks at retail. John at BrandAutopsy commented:
Years ago as a marketing manager for Starbucks, we learned for every five beverage samples we would sample to customers, it would stimulate a purchase. That’s a 20% conversion rate.
I wonder what the conversion rate would be for magazines? If one subscriber resulted from every 5 blog links to a magazine article, that would be a pretty good return. I guess they'll never know...