SI Annual Well-Suited For Print, Online, Digital, Even Mobile Media

The Web site for Sports Illustrated, SI.com, Tuesday posted 200 photos from its annual swimsuit issue--many for free.

The site features enlargeable thumbnails of models and athletes in bathing suits (and, in at least one instance, a birthday suit), and allows visitors to enlarge many of the photos for free by clicking on them. 11-10slide1 Other photos, marked "exclusive," require subscriptions to enlarge; users who click on those are taken to a page where they can sign up to pay $4.95 for 13 issues, a free swimsuit-related DVD, and access to other content connected to the yearly bathing suit issue. In addition, SI.com is selling a digital edition of just the swimsuit issue for $5.99.

Last month, SI.com made more articles available to paid subscribers as part of a redesign. This January, 4.9 million unique visitors went to the site--up from 3.9 million in January 2004, according to comScore Networks.

While it's too early to know whether the swimsuit photos will lure more eyeballs, last February, traffic jumped to 4.7 million; still, August's Olympics drew even more viewers--5.3 million--and college football in November pushed the traffic to a yearly high of 5.4 million.