The Dish: Now $1.99 A Month


[Re-posted from earlier today]

Well, you [tinypass_offer text=”asked for it”]. In fact so many asked for it, so quickly, we feel bad it took us this long to get there. But today, we can announce a new way to subscribe to the Dish, which will, we hope, accommodate those of you (a considerable number) who are going through tough economic times and could use a lower barrier to entry and the option of canceling in the future if your budget tightens again. Here’s how one reader put it:

I’m not sure if your clan has considered it, but setting up monthly subscriptions would be a great option for those of us happy to pay more than $20/year but who just don’t have the all-at-once cash. I’d happily sign up for $5/month which would work out to three times the subscription rate.

That’s a super-generous offer. $1.99-a-month seems a more reasonable sum – an app-like fee that simply gives you more options for payment. Like the $19.99-a-year option, we’re also leaving it up to you if you’d like to pay more – even if that’s only $2 or as much as $5. The point of course is to make this available to as many people at as many Screen shot 2013-03-25 at 1.34.34 PMprice points as you want and need, above a minimum baseline. You can buy your new full access $1.99-a month subscription [tinypass_offer text=”here”].

As for our progress, we are purring along. Our gross income is now $653,000 toward a goal of $900,000 by next January 1. That’s 72 percent of our goal in almost three months – but almost all the likeliest subscribers have joined already. It gets tougher from here on out. That $900,000, by the way, is simply the sum of our fixed costs (servers, legal costs, health insurance, salaries for staff, video equipment, photo agencies etc.) and an attempt to pay the three co-owners of the company, Chris, Patrick and me, something close to what we were paid in the past. Alas, it can’t pay for much more than that: our desire to start commissioning the kind of long-form journalism that is disappearing from many magazines, and acquiring a long-form editor to craft the essays, reports and arguments we want to run. But we really do want to reinvent the whole concept of a magazine – starting from a blog outwards – and by the most honest and simple way possible: purely reader support.

It may not be possible; but we didn’t think what we’ve done already would be possible not so long ago. You made it possible – and a large number of media outlets are watching this experiment closely to see if they can follow us. We hope they can, and we can begin to rebuild a model for serious, calm journalism in an era of page-view mania, sponsored content, noisy comments sections and cheap SEO gimmicks.

Think of it: $1.99 a month for a noise-free, carefully edited, always lively, provocative daily read. It isn’t much – but it could help set a model to recapitalize and re-stabilize an entire industry. You can help build this new model by getting an annual or monthly subscription [tinypass_offer text=”here”]. Please help us. It could also at some point help a hell of a load of others.