I like the subscription model the FT (Financial Times) has been using for some time now. I may get the exact details wrong but its the idea that’s important anyway. You can visit the ft.com domain something like nine times per month for free. They cookie you and when you stop by the tenth time in a month, they ask you to pay. And many do.
This model recognizes a few fundamental facts about the internet. First, you need to make your content available for search engines and social media linking. That drives as much as half or more of the visits these days. And if you have an ad model at all, and most newspapers do, then you need those visits and that audience.
Its also true that the ‘drive by’ visits will bring new audiences, some of whom will become loyal and ultimately paid audience members.
The other thing I like about the FT’s model is that its an elegant implementation of freemium. The best freemium models allow anyone to use the service for free and then convert the most serious/frequent/power users to paying customers.
It’s an interesting model, too, because it sidesteps the near impossible task of allocating which content is good enough to be paid for and which should be given away free, basing payment not on content, but on usage.
But, it also made me wonder…
Could the FT paywall model ever work for a blog other than a mass news source?
So, my question FOR YOU is –
Is there any blog, whether run by an individual or team of contributors, that you believe offers such astonishingly good and unique content you’d actually be willing to pay to be able to visit it more than 9 times a month?
I love many of the blogs I read, but, sad to say, I don’t know if I’d pay to read any (attention brown-nosers, no need to name mine, I don’t even think I’d pay to read it, lol!). Not that they don’t add value, just not enough for me to pay for the privilege of opening my wallet after the ninth visit.
And, I wonder, too, what does that tell us about the state of the blogosphere?
What about you? Is there any blog you’d pay to be able to read every day?
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