Across the board, digital media companies have seen a sharp spike in engagement and subscriptions over the past month, and traffic to local news sites has gone through the roof. We’ve seen it in our own numbers — Zuora’s digital media vertical has tripled its compound annual growth rate in just one month. At the same time, the digital media industry is still heavily reliant on advertising, which is always the first budget to get axed during a recession. Even with the traffic boost, primarily ad-driven media sites like Vice and Group 9 are getting absolutely hammered. To add to the pain, Walmart and Amazon are already pulling out of commerce marketing deals with sites like Buzzfeed and Vox. We are clearly at the beginning of a huge wave of consolidation in media, and a subscription strategy is going to be absolutely crucial for sites that want to stay standing on the other side of this crisis. This week we spoke with a digital media leader who is currently navigating the dynamic between subscription and advertising revenue. James Heckman is the CEO of Maven, a digital content publishing platform that currently supports over 300 publishers, including A&E’s History, Ski Magazine, Jim Cramer’s TheStreet, and Sports Illustrated (yes, that Sports Illustrated!). Full disclosure: Zuora manages subscriptions at TheStreet.