The Best Of The Dish Today

Happy Canada Day:

It’s that time of the month, as it were, so here’s the latest data on the Dish experiment in independent subscriber-based web journalism. But first up, let’s just say we’re chuffed to read the following statement by Scott Havens of Time Inc.:

I see many digital examples of customers paying for digital content that give me hope – the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Daily Dish, Netflix – even when the consumer can possibly find it, or a replacement, elsewhere.

The WSJ, NYT, Netflix and little ol’ us? Well, we hoped we could be a trailblazer. And the good news is that we remain pretty stable. Traffic is marginally up from last month at 680K uniques, compared with 670K in May – but still a notch down from year one. Whether this gentle decline is a function of the news cycle or merely stabilization under the meter, we don’t know. We probably won’t until the political season heats up in the fall. As for revenue, it’s still coming in and subscriptions are now at 29,200. Here’s the data for the last few months:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 12.39.31 PM

We’re gliding downward in new revenue – but we did exactly the same last year in this period. And June revenue in 2014 is $26K, compared with $15K in June 2013. You can see why above: the red line is renewing income, and the blue segment is new income. Each year, with any luck, it compounds a little. Our twelve-month subscription revenue is at an all-time high of $927K. We’re beginning to prove, I think, that a subscription model can work online, and if that’s true, there’s a much brighter future for quality online journalism. Which may be why several sites are now following our lead.

So if you haven’t yet subscribed, but were meaning to, please help this experiment succeed. It’s just $1.99 a month, or $19.99 a year – and takes two minutes to sign up. We guarantee you two things: we’ll keep giving you the sharpest, independent brain food out there, and, as long as you subscribe, we will never make you sit through or be distracted by an ad, let alone corporate bullshit dressed up as an article. If that’s worth something to you, subscribe!

Today, the Hobby Lobby debate continued. I dug in to my view that accommodating some religious consciences in newly mandated contraception coverage is not the worst compromise in our culture wars. Most readers were not on the same page. I wondered if those celebrating the victory for religious freedom in America would also bemoan the ban on the niqab in France, just upheld by the European Court of Human Rights.

Plus: the special grief of soldiers; the need for kids to get infections; and the ever-more-creepy world of Facebook.

Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish.

See you in the morning.