Sullivan going to a Paywall (Update: Well, not a Paywall, Exactly)
Via the Daily Dish: New Year, New Dish, New Media
So for the next month, we’re going to offer you advance membership of the Dish for $19.99 a year, which translates to $1.67 a month,which is around a nickel a day.
The experiment starts in February, when Sullivan leaves the Daily Beast behind.
Of the bloggers out there, I suppose Sullivan is one that has a better chance than most to make this work, but I have my doubts.
On the one hand, he has a lot of readers, puts together a pretty rigorous product (far more than can be achieved by part-time blogging) and is, indeed, more than just a blogger. His other media exposure, moreover, could serve as ongoing marketing for the Dish.
On the other, once one goes behind a wall, one is separated from the broader conversation that has been the hallmark of web-based writing. (However, it may be that the model is dead and perhaps I am too informed by an old blogging mindset, having been at this going on 10 years, and by the fact that I have no pressure to make this the source of my livelihood).
Sullivan has been at the forefront of blogging since the beginning, so I will be curious to see how this plays out, although I am unlikely to be a subscriber, given that I have more free content to read now than I have time for (which is the biggest threat to this model to begin with).
Update: It really isn’t a paywall after all:
Our particular version will be a meter that will be counted every time you hit a “Read on” button to expand or contract a lengthy post. You’ll have a limited number of free read-ons a month, before we hit you up for $19.99. Everything else on the Dish will remain free. No link from another blog to us will ever be counted for the meter – so no blogger or writer need ever worry that a link to us will push their readers into a paywall. It won’t. Ever. There is no paywall. Just a freemium-based meter. We’ve tried to maximize what’s freely available, while monetizing those parts of the Dish where true Dishheads reside. The only tough love we’re offering is the answer to the View From Your Window Contest. You’ll have to become a member to find where the place is. Ha!
I must confess: I overlooked this part of the post. On the one hand, this keep Sully firmly in the Blogosphere, but on the other decreases the incentives for most readers to subscribe.