Buzzfeed News Is Getting In On the Tote Bag Game
Print journalism is having a tough time. You've probably read all about it, ironically, on some of these companies' websites. One thing that companies have done to urge people to subscribe to their publications is give out tote bags and other membership incentives. Totes from publications like the New Yorker and NPR have become statement pieces on their own, and are downright fashionable these days.
So, as the journalism landscape teeters toward full "pivot to digital" status, and companies once known for inundating you with cat gifs shift their attention to actual, hard-hitting journalism, Buzzfeed is taking a page out of those traditional outlets' playbooks by introducing tote bags of its own.
Buzzfeed isn't going to start printing actual newspapers or magazines, but it's trying to establish a more upscale identity for its now independent news site, Buzzfeed News. And it's trying to boost subscription revenue by promising branded merchandise.
Tech Crunch reported that, in August, Buzzfeed News started offering readers the opportunity to make donations between $5 and $100, and some readers asked for ways to keep the donation going on an ongoing basis. Buzzfeed came up with a membership program, where readers will receive exclusive emails for $5 a month. A yearly $100 donation gets you the tote bag.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 19, 2018
While traditional journalism is always going to have to find ways to stay relevant and profitable, these outlets have shown the power of tote bags and similar incentives. Especially in the age of environmental consciousness and in a time where cities are cracking down on single-use bags, tote bags are even more valuable. This bag means two things—you're environmentally conscious, and you care enough about journalism to make a monetary donation.