Sports Illustrated Is Experimenting With Pay Model on Swimsuit Videos

Ryan Glasspiegel

Earlier this week, I was bouncing around the internet looking for actionable blog content when I noticed a dollar sign next to a video of behind-the-scenes footage of Kate Upton, Gigi Hadid, and other Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models. When you click into it, you get a preview under a minute, and it costs 99 cents to rent the whole 54-minute production:

Not recalling having seen this before from SI, I inquired whether it was a new feature.

“We’re always experimenting with new distribution and revenue models for our range of long-form video content,” an SI spokesperson said in an email. “This is the first video from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit to be published under this format, and we plan to continue to experiment with the best ways to reach more people, wherever they are consuming premium video programming.”

A buck at a time, there would need to be A LOT of sales on these videos to make a meaningful difference in SI’s bottom line. It remains to be seen if they will take this model from Swimsuit vertical to other areas of sports, whether that be analysis or perhaps original documentaries.

Do you think this will be worthwhile?