Paying for content

by Sonny Bunch on January 3, 2013

I had a bit of fun on Twitter yesterday with Andrew Sullivan’s announcement that he was adding a pay wall/metered function to his website. I’ll be honest, it’s not the sort of thing I care to support—I can’t go in for the Trig Trutherism, the anti-Israel rhetoric, the Obama-fealty—but I really do wish him the best. He’s a fine aggregator of content even if his deep dive essays frequently devolve into silliness. And it seems to me that he’s in a good position to succeed: His costs will be minimal (bandwidth/some modest tech support) and he doesn’t employ that many people, so salary/health benefits will be low. If he can convince only one in ten of his reported one million unique visitors to pony up the minimum of $20, that’s $2 million a year in gross revenue. If he can’t make it work with that kind of funding stream he’s either living extravagantly or a remarkably poor business manager. Plus, it might give him a better perspective on Obama’s tax hikes.

Like I said, I hope he succeeds. It’s always good to get more people to pay for content. When I introduce my $1,000 a year paywall, I want you people conditioned to accept it.

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