Bowing to industry pressures and hoping to boost income from its widely-read iPod and iTunes web site, iLounge.com has announced substantial changes to its free content offerings, refocusing heavily on revenue-generating measures. Effective 9:00PM PST today, April 1, thousands of previously free pages on iLounge.com will be locked, and made available only on a pay-per-page or monthly subscription basis. “Having watched the experts at Napster and RealNetworks practically mint their own money with similar plans,” explained Jeremy Horwitz, Editor-in-Chief of iLounge, “we decided to bet the company on a similarly great idea. Soon, users will be able to unlock the site with individual ‘iLounge Keys,’ sold for 99 cents per page, or monthly ‘iLounge Gold’ site-wide access for only $12.95. Everyone else is trying to sell something to Apple fans, so why not us?”
“Too many times, we’ve passed up opportunities to make an easy buck,” said Dennis Lloyd, Publisher of iLounge, “so starting now, we’re going to change that.” In addition to starting an all-nude version of its popular iPods Around the World photo galleries, the site will begin to publish reviews written by accessory and service providers, and open its Discussion Forums to endless quantities of viral advertising and astroturfing. Lloyd also disclosed that Ask iLounge, the site’s weekly Q&A column, would be cancelled in favor of ‘iPod Buddies,’ a $65/hour consulting service where iLounge editors or high school students (as available) will offer in-person or telephone iTunes assistance and music recommendations to needy readers. “We think that these changes will ultimately benefit both us and our readers,” said Lloyd and Horwitz, “and if they don’t, at least we’ll be able to enjoy the nude photo galleries.”
Update: Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone! Expect a real announcement soon!