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Apr 23, 2008
Press Release

Pros & Cons of Paid Subscription vs. Ad Sales Will Be Panel Discussion at MarketingSherpa's Selling Online Subscriptions Summit

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Warren, RI, April 23, 2008 – Some publishers choose a paid subscription model, some choose an ad sales model, and some choose both as a revenue stream -- a business decision with rippling implications for marketing and content strategies.

During a panel session at MarketingSherpa Selling Online Subscriptions Summit, executives from Zagat Survey, (from Yahoo! Sports) and Hoover’s will reveal why their companies chose the hybrid model, the pros and cons they weighed in making the decision, and the sales and marketing strategies that followed these decisions.

The panel, titled “Revisiting Subscription Revenue Strategies to Support Changing Business Models,” will take place on Monday, May 12, 2008, 9:30 a.m. at MarketingSherpa's 8th Annual Selling Online Subscriptions Summit. The Summit is being held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park in New York City, May 12-13, 2008.

All from companies with very large user bases, the panel participants include:

* John Boris, VP Marketing for Zagat Survey, where he is responsible for the marketing, promotions and brand development for all Zagat Survey lines of business including retail, corporate, online and mobile. Known as the “burgundy bible,” Zagat Survey is the world’s most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play. With more than 300,000 surveyors, Zagat Survey rates and reviews restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range of other entertainment and lifestyle categories. Zagat content is available in book format, online, via smartphones and on the mobile Web.

* Bobby Burton, Chief Operating Officer and Editor-in-Chief for (from Yahoo! sports), the nation’s largest college and high-school specific online media property. He manages and oversees the network and the National Media Group. He is a founding executive of, which was sold to Yahoo! in July 2007. has more than 200,000 paid subscriptions and 6 million unique users on a monthly basis.

* Marybeth Gavin, Senior Marketing Manager for Hoover’s, a company that provides proprietary business information through the Internet, data feeds, wireless devices and co-branding agreements with other online services. Hoover’s features a database of information on more than 25 million corporations and organizations. Gavin is responsible for developing strategies that attract new prospects and enhance customer retention, designing campaigns to increase conversion and promote cross-sell opportunities, and implementing new technologies that boost campaign performance and ecommerce revenue.

In addition to this panel discussion on how to determine the right mix of free and paid content, the MarketingSherpa event offers the latest case studies on how to raise subscription sales in a recession-type economy, present market research on selling online subscriptions, and include sessions from leading online subscription marketers on tools and tactics that can improve online conversions and revenues. Selling Online Subscriptions Summit is expected to attract over 350 top executives in the paid online content and subscriber services industries.

“These are three well known companies who know all the nuances of paid subscription vs. free content as a business model,” said Eric Stockton, President of MarketingSherpa. “As industry leaders their very real stories of how they build these large user communities is something that can be applied to any online subscriber business and Summit attendees are bound to come away with new insights.”

To register for MarketingSherpa Selling Online Subscription Summit, visit:

About MarketingSherpa
MarketingSherpa ( is a research firm publishing practical case studies and benchmark guides for its community of marketers and thousands of weekly case study readers. Topics covered include practical how-to and exclusive data and proven tactics in business-to-business marketing, ecommerce marketing, email marketing, search marketing, telemarketing, media relations, landing page design, marketing measurement and online subscription marketing. The firm also operates six annual Summits attended by thousands of marketers. MarketingSherpa, along with MarketingExperiments and InTouch, is part of the MECLABS Group.


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Jamie O'Donnell
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