Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Subscription Liabilities

Remember a month ago when there were rumors that BusinessWeek was going to sell for a dollar and everyone had some brilliant idea of what they should do with it? Well, turns out things aren’t quite so cut and dry (which I suspected, as I worked for a magazine in a similar position, albeit with far less liability). Anyway, the magazine has $40 million in subscription liabilities, which Felix Salmon was kind enough to define:

What’s a subscription liability? It’s basically all the money which BusinessWeek has already been paid, in subscription revenues, for magazines it has yet to deliver. It’s a liability because if it can’t deliver the magazines, BusinessWeek would have to refund its subscribers their money, or somehow try to fob them off with an equivalent product.

Yet another collision of business reality and media punditry.

August 20, 2009