There isn’t an online publishing business model, says Vin Crosbie, there are manyonline publishing business models.
That’s absolutely correct. I’d go a step further and say there isn’t a single print business model, either. Vin seems to be saying that business publications can charge for subscriptions, and that consumer books cannot (or not very much, anyway).
However, there are plenty of great business publications who give away subscriptions to either 100% of their readers in order to have maximum coverage of a desirable market (CIO magazine), or give away a certain percentage of subscriptions to very important readers (like CEO’s) and sell themselves dear to lesser mortals (Forbes).
There are also plenty of consumer magazines who either charge close to full price for subscriptions (The New Yorker sometimes) or rely primarily on undiscounted newsstand sales (People).
In other words, there isn’t a single online publishing business model because there isn’t a single print publishing business model.