SBD/October 9, 2013/Media

SI Testing New Interactive Paywall Allowing Readers To Select Video Ads For Content

SI is "testing a paywall that lets readers access its print articles early if they watch a 30-second video ad first," according to Lucia Moses of ADWEEK. Selectable Media, who is providing the technology, has been "testing consumers' willingness to watch video ads" for free content. This is its "first public test with a major consumer magazine." The SI experiment is "modest for now," as it has been "applied only on the desktop and to a range of SI stories, which typically are only immediately available to paying subscribers." Viewers are "offered a choice of ads to watch," which recently included spots for Del Monte vegetables and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." The thought is that "if people get a choice of which ad to watch, they're more likely to recall it and buy the product. Once the visitor watches the ad, the article is "unlocked for a 24-hour period." Selectable said that in general 50-70% of visitors "will view videos that are implemented this way and that SI’s results fell into that range" (, 10/7).

FAN NON-FICTION: MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds reported HBO, SI and Endgame Entertainment will "serve sports fans a new documentary chronicling how athletics unites Americans" this Thanksgiving. "Sport in America: Our Defining Stories" will premiere on Nov. 28 at 6:00pm ET, and will "also be available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO." The film covers "a wide spectrum of the American sports landscape, including baseball, football, hockey, tennis, basketball, boxing, high school athletics, the Boston Marathon and the Olympic Games." Its subject matter "ranges from the achievement of Jesse Owens" at the '36 Olympics to the Blackhawks' "extraordinary comeback" in Game 6 of the '13 Stanley Cup Final. HBO Sports Exec Producer Rick Bernstein said, "This is one of the most wide-ranging sports projects that HBO has launched, and we are delighted to collaborate with such prestigious partners, who share our passion for storytelling." Time Inc. Sports Group Editor Paul Fichtenbaum added, "It embodies the emotional storytelling and deep appreciation for the events that helped shape generations of sports fans" (, 10/7).
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