A reader writes:
I want to pass along a short encouraging email to you all: I for one don’t feel annoyed by your posts asking people to renew. It’s no worse than what NPR or Wikipedia do once a year, and unlike them, your appeals seem genuine (rather than automated) and express how passionate you are about what you do. After reading your blog off and on for about three years, my wife and I decided to fully commit and become subscribers a few weeks ago. In fact, it was one of your “please pay us!” posts that helped convince us. That, and the fact that your site is better than any other news site out there. Keep it up!
Another quips, “I figure with the amount of lost productivity I can blame on the Dish, the least I can do is forward along a small share of my paycheck.” Another dissents:
I can’t be the only one to notice the irony of your recent railing about the blurred lines between editorial and advertising at traditional publications, and your use of the exact same practice with the extensive posts about renewing to The Dish. I’m gonna renew, but just sayin.
Exact same practice? Really? Another reader:
I look forward to renewing my subscription. You have for years been my #1 go-to blog. There have been many many topics discussed at length that have direct relevance to my life. It is the one place I can go where I feel like my life as a 20-year HIV survivor is not lost to memory. Also, your discussion of how Vietnam veterans were ill-received by the old soldiers at the VFW was so enlightening to me. After sharing with my partner of twelve years, himself a Vietnam Vet, he really opened up some more – even after twelve years – since he speaks so little of it. So much pain. Both of us are isolated and “forgotten” soldiers in our respective ways. It has also been a great pleasure to share the warmth and excitement of the Grace that is Pope Francis. And I am so grateful to your blog for not forgetting the incarcerated and the travails of the mentally ill. Your blog is truly more like a place to me than a digital abstraction. It’s a good place to go. Have a Jaeger for me.
We’re not celebrating yet, since we still have a long way to go before matching last year’s budget. But we’re off to a great start: about 52% of our Founding Member revenue has been recouped so far. Below is a breakdown of the top 10 prices set by readers, ranked by total revenue for each chosen price (click to enlarge):
The minimum price for a Dish subscription is still only $1.99/month or $19.99/year, but the average chosen price for an annual subscription is still hovering high at $37. One of the top contributors went with the monthly option:
I paid $19.99 the first day you opened for TinyPass business last year. This year, when you asked for an extra $5, I thought “Hell, I can do more than that, and I WANT to do more than that”, and looked at my checkbook to see how much more I could do. A quick review reminded that I pay $7.99 a month for Netflix, and I consume MUCH more Dish than Netflix. So, I decided on a $7.99/month Dish renewal. I also pay $9.99 a month for unlimited music on Spotify for my husband and me and our myriad devices. I consume MUCH more Dish than Spotify. Okay, I’ll hike it to $9.99 a month.
And then the killer: $32.80 every four weeks (13x year!) for The New York Times. I read the hell out of The New York Times, but $32.80 is for digital access only on our computers, iPads, iPhones, etc. (We get one dead-tree paper on Sunday, which we wouldn’t prefer.) So, the nearest price point for the media item that I use/consume the most similarly to how I use/consume The Dish is The New York Times, and I pay them more than $425 a year.
So I renewed for $40/month – which comes out to $480/year. It’s a huge sum, and I won’t be able to afford it forever, but today, as I measure its value to me compared to all the other media I pay for, it gets the pole position by far.
I’m heartened to see the second-year spike in subscriptions you’ve received so far. And I want to apologize a bit: My own subscription isn’t up until February 4, and dollars are really really tight right now, so I’ll be re-upping with automatic renewal in early February.
But if that reader renews today, he won’t be double-charged for the next two weeks. (More details on that reader’s concern and others here.) So if you are already planning to renew your subscription, there’s really no need to delay. One more reader:
Happy to have renewed my subscription and thrown in $5 more than last year. I love the Dish, and I really loved the podcast with Dan Savage. Hopefully those in-depth conversations with interesting people will become a much more regular part of the Dish. (As a pioneer in blogging, I’d love to hear you chat with another pioneer of new media, podcaster Marc Maron, who I think has popped up before.) But I’m sure no matter what direction you take the Dish in, I’ll continue to find it informative, thought provoking and a unique voice in the noise.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to ask you to pass something along to the free-riders: Pay up! No more excuses in year two. Andrew and the team have bent over backwards to make the Dish accessible and affordable to everyone, and they are truly putting themselves out there financially to provide you with content that you’re clearly consuming on a regular basis. $1.99 a month! That’s it! A cup of freaking coffee!
But my usual is a triple latte – almost $5. So that’s what I renewed for – $5 a month. I hadn’t really thought of a monthly subscription. I was contemplating renewing at a higher yearly rate, but money is tight. Thanks to that subscriber, I thought of it differently. I can forgo an occasional latte to increase my Dish subscription amount – and doing it monthly will make it virtually unnoticeable.
And don’t forget to subscribe here if you haven’t already – another reader just did:
I’m a white married heterosexual atheist, inhabiting a Southern city with a rural job where I work in tractor/farm equipment sales. I chew tobacco, smoke pot, support marriage equality, love baking cakes and pies, making homemade ice cream (with a waistline that shows it), and I don’t drink – except from the Dish, which I now do with no inner pangs, as I finally coughed up some dough to support your enterprise. Cheesy segue I know, but I got nothing better. Thanks to all and keep it up!
One more renewal update, because who can resist this one:
I renewed for $100 – extended out to February 4th, 2015 – which happens to be the 36th anniversary of me losing my virginity. And now that I think of it, I will always be renewing my membership as of February 4th. So, two reasons to celebrate!
(Photos of Dish subscribers used with permission)