My thoughts on the feasibility of pay-meters for most bloggers:
On a related note, the Dutch continue to experiment with pay models:
De Nieuwe Pers recently launched in the Netherlands as an online platform for freelance journalists. Users pay €4.49 a month for access to all content on its app or website. But what stands out is the possibility to subscribe to individual reporters, for €1.79 a month. Think True/Slant, but with paywalls. “News has become more personal,” Alain van der Horst, editor in chief of De Nieuwe Pers, told me. “People are interested in the opinions, the beliefs, the revelations of a certain journalist they know and trust, much more than an anonymous person who writes for a large publication.”
Karskens concurs, stressing that a personal brand is key in this business model. “People read my stuff because I have a clear, crystalized opinion based on over 32 years of war correspondence,” he said. “This really works well for journalists with a distinctive character. It’s not for the average desk slave.”
Van der Horst also thinks paying per journalist is fairer to the readers than subscribing to a publication as a whole. “When you subscribe to a newspaper, you’ll get the full package. Even if you always throw out the sports section, you’ll still get it. With this model you decide: ‘This is what I want to read, so I’ll pay for it — what I don’t read, I don’t pay for.’”
De Correspondent’s record-breaking [$1.3 million crowdfunded] campaign is remarkable, not least because even those paying up aren’t clear on what the platform will look like when it launches in September. “That’s for a very good reason,” Wijnberg said — “we don’t really know yet.”
“When you try to sell an idea, it’s very easy to refer to what people know — ‘the platform looks like this, and you can compare the writing style with that’,” he said. “We didn’t want to do that, because we really wanted to be able to create something new — start with a clean slate.”
Here’s what we do know about De Correspondent: It promises to break away from the daily news cycle by focusing on context, not just what happened in the past 24 hours — new content that isn’t driven by “the news.” Individual correspondents, many of them famous or semi-famous in the Netherlands, will lead as “guides” — deciding the news agenda, and making their choices explicit. …
For an idea of what the new publication might look like, check out its 10-item manifesto (translated into English): Daily, but beyond the issues of the day. From news to new. No political ideology, but journalistic ideals. Themes and interconnections. Journalism over revenues. From readers to participants. No advertisers, but partners. No target groups, but kindred spirits. Ambitious in ideals, modest about wisdom. Fully digital.
A-fucking-men. And may sponsored content die on its corrupting vine. One reader who finally decided to pay for content writes:
I just wanted to pass along a thought on subscribing today. I’ve been mulling over subscribing since this all started, but hadn’t yet made the plunge, partly because I am unsure about the long-term feasibility of the direct pay-for-content model on the larger scale for the media. But this week I realized what it is about your site that’s different and worth stepping out and supporting this model: you don’t just offer a point of view on the blog, but a perspective. Except for the wire services, there’s little out there that doesn’t support a point of view, but you go beyond that in speaking personally, something I realized as I’ve read your pieces on David Kuo (as an evangelical living in DC with tangential connections to David) and Margaret Thatcher (as a struggling conservative) this week. I am grateful that you can admit to your readers that areas are only important when they are lived.
So, thank you for being authentic. It’s what makes the Dish rise above everything else out there today.