Politico launched Politico Pro in February 2011; while it was originally aimed at individual subscribers, Pro quickly switched its focus to the group subscriptions that now make up the vast majority of its base. Pro offers some subscriber-only articles, early access to morning newsletters, customizable instant alerts and other perks. Pro started out covering energy, health care and technology and added more coverage areas — defense, financial services, tax and transportation — last year. Starting this month, Pro subscribers can also receive an afternoon policy newsletter called Pro Report.
In an attempt to drive more Pro subscriptions, Politico is launching a free quarterly print magazine that will feature past Pro coverage. On March 22, it will be delivered to “every member of Congress, the White House and all federal agencies as well as to 160 newspaper boxes and 100 Washington-area Starbucks.”
Politico is tight-lipped on what a subscription to Pro actually costs. Subscription fees vary based on the type of organization (government, nonprofit and so on) and how many employees it has, as well as the number of coverage areas an organization wants. Nieman Journalism Lab reported last year that an individual subscription starts at $3,295 a year, with group memberships starting at $8,000 for five people and one coverage area.
I cannot believe that people are willing to spend that much for the features they mention. That makes a digital subscription to The New York Times look like pocket change.