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Andrew Sullivan To Launch Subscription Site


A highly targeted audience can bring huge value for advertisers, and superstar journalist/blogger Andrew Sullivan knows it. That’s why he’s leaving the Daily Beast and launching his own subscription website — with memberships starting at $19.99 a month.

Actually, it’s a $19.99 or pay what you want model, a model that’s proving to be successful across a lot of channels. Sullivan and his team are going independent for a mixture of reasons, one of which must certainly be that they stand to make a lot more money with fewer strings attached.

From Sullivan:

“We felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism… the only completely clear and transparent way to do this, we concluded, was to become totally independent of other media entities and rely entirely on you for our salaries, health insurance, and legal, technological and accounting expenses.”

Who ever said that users will never pay for content, Andrew Sullivan hopes you’re wrong. And so do I, actually… not for his sake but mine and DM’s.

Subscriber revenues do present their own set of difficulties — especially for those with a romantic view of journalism like Sullivan — but a subscriber model does certainly create a less volatile revenue stream.

I don’t think Sullivan will see a noticeable drop in readership or engagement in the move. If anything, he may get a temporary spike in traffic, with curious visitors poking around the new AndrewSullivan.com front-end site.

What’s starting to happen, first with Glenn Beck and now with Sullivan (nearly polar opposites), is that mass media personalities are building loyal audiences on their own, building relationships with marketing masterminds, and realizing that they’re employers are no longer necessary.

Sullivan has the traffic, all he needs is conversions. Hopefully, he’s working with some folks who know how to make that happen.

 

 


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About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
View all posts by Josh Loposer ➞

Comments:

  • Michael says:

    I had only a vague idea who Andrew Sullivan was until this post.

    Interesting how even ‘progressive’ blogging purists are becoming aware that it takes real money and cash flow to create an economy – little details like net profit and working capital.

    On the bright side, a couple of other points:

    - Sullivan’s appeal for financial support was both tastefully and skillfully written. He may actually have an alternative future as a sales letter copywriter should the need for a ‘backup plan’ arise for a way to create more revenue. It’s clear he can write well.

    - It’s also obvious that he has created a strong bond with his readership. It takes hard work and authenticity to accomplish that.

    Bravo for taking a bold risk and for facing the fact that the old media ship has sprung a leak and is slowly, steadily sinking. And bravo for facing the fact that no matter how many times a NYT or a Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or a Minneapolis Star Tribune, raises its debt ceiling, the old model will not survive it’s financial hemorrhaging – no matter how many of us would like the old model to succeed.

    As far as your comment: “Hopefully, he’s working with some folks who know how to make that happen.”

    Depending how you look at it, hopefully it’s not the same people who handled Currrent.tv.

    We all love to see people take risk and succeed. I sincerely admire Sullivan’s tenacity and willingness to go for it. And for that I hope he finds a way to make it work for himself, his staff and his readers. I mean this sincerely.

    On the other hand, if it does not pan out, maybe he can call ‘Al Gorezeera’ for advice or a couple of phone numbers.

    In the long run, integrity and principles matter. Message matters. Truth matters.

    Good luck Andrew Sullivan. If I were you, I’d hire Digital Marketing – fast.

    • Josh Loposer says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Michael. In the end, taking the risk should boost Sullivan’s income and independence… better for his reader and his principles.

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