Since Politico, a politics-focused website and newspaper, launched its subscription-based news service Politico Pro in 2011, government agencies have increasingly turned to the service to keep abreast of the latest developments in their spheres of policy. Government records show fiscal year 2011 contracts with the owner of Politico, Capitol News Company, totaling $41,900. By fiscal year 2014, there were no fewer than twenty-eight contracts with sixteen different departments and agencies, including the Executive Office of the President, totaling $431,800.
A chart from the USASpending.gov website illustrates the trend (including the first five and a half months of fiscal year 2015):
The first five and a half months of fiscal 2015 have seen fifteen contracts for $198,188, although at least one agency, the FCC, appears not to have renewed a $50,000 fiscal 2014 contract in 2015.
Although not all of the records found under Capitol News Service explicitly name "Politico Pro" in their descriptions, the primary categories used for the contracts strongly suggest the premium Pro service is the subject of most, if not all of them. Most contracts are categorized as Web-Based Subscription, Newspapers and Periodicals, and Support- Administrative: Library. (Two additional contracts are clearly mis-classified as ADP Software; the descriptions of both include "Politico Pro.")
In addition to the $49,862 contract with the FCC, the other two top dollar 2014 contracts were with the Department of Energy ($61,496) and the Treasury Department ($60,000). Although the larger contracts do not include a breakdown on the number of users permitted under the subscriptions, some of the smaller ones give some details. A $4,995 contract for 2015 with the Executive Office of the President, for example, is for five users for 12 months, while a $2,495 contract for 2015 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is for "five additional licenses required for incoming commissioner."