The magazine, which has a paid circulation of about 30,000, had offered its online content for free since October 2006. The brand no longer wants to chase consumer advertising based on CPM's but to focus on endemic advertisers, such as movie studios, that want to reach the entertainment industry audience, said Brian Gott, publisher of Variety.
“Quite frankly, the consumer audience is unimportant to Variety,” Gott said in an interview. He said he expects that the pay wall will be implemented gradually over the next two months.
For an annual price of $248, a subscriber will have access to Variety content in print, online and on mobile devices.
Variety has traditionally been a paid publication. It's unclear to what degree other b-to-b publications, most of which have historically relied on controlled circulation, will be able to charge for online content.
"The number of unique visitors to Variety will decline, but the people who remain on the site are our core audience. These are ultimately the people we want to reach," Variety President Neil Stiles said in a statement.
“It's an interesting and probably necessary move. Everyone is trying to find the path to profitability during this transformation into digital media,” said Roland DeSilva, managing partner at DeSilva & Phillips, of Variety's announcement.