Developing a Premium Paywall Saves the Day for Sports Illustrated CEO

Ross LevinsohnSports Illustrated has a celebrated history that has covered more than seven decades. Its income over those years has been heavily dependent on its print publication. While print magazines held significant appeal for decades, interest in many magazine brands waned as the internet became more popular among users. Because of this change in consumer preference, Sports Illustrated was in the same boat as other print publications during the early part of this century. It experienced a growing decline in print-based income. Sports Illustrated CEO Ross Levinsohn was given the essential chore of adopting a suitable solution for this issue.

Notably, prior to becoming the Sports Illustrated CEO, Ross Levinsohn previously served the media industry through his position as the top executive leader at Maven Media. In this role, he managed and oversaw the company’s digital media services, including monetization strategies for several hundred of the industry’s top brands. This experience has laid the critical foundation for him to address Sports Illustrated’s challenge successfully. One of the experiences that he drew from was based on his work at The Street with Jim Cramer. For this brand, Levinsohn realized that there was a critical opportunity to raise revenue through the advent of a new paywall. This opportunity was based on the brand’s consumers’ desire for cryptocurrency news. Through the debut of the paywall, The Street with Jim Cramer provided essential crypto-based content and raised a new and steady stream of income as a result.

After Ross Levinsohn took over the head position as CEO at Sports Illustrated, he was able to use his experience with paywall innovations to identify a great solution. The goal was to pull more income from the website’s core content. The paywall innovation that Levinsohn came up with was supported by offering some content early and for a premium. This incredible concept was quickly adopted by some other brands to resolve similar issues.

Ross Levinsohn’s impressive efforts to push the media industry forward have far exceeded his work for Maven Media and Sports Illustrated. His exceptional career has covered 40 years of history and has taken him to head seats at CBS Sportsline, Fox Sports, Yahoo! and many other recognized and respected companies.


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