Andrew Sullivan moves to metering his content

This is interesting. Andrew Sullivan is ditching advertising for a new business model:

Our particular version will be a meter that will be counted every time you hit a “Read on” button to expand or contract a lengthy post. You’ll have a limited number of free read-ons a month, before we hit you up for $19.99. Everything else on the Dish will remain free. No link from another blog to us will ever be counted for the meter – so no blogger or writer need ever worry that a link to us will push their readers into a paywall. It won’t. Ever. There is no paywall. Just a freemium-based meter. We’ve tried to maximize what’s freely available, while monetizing those parts of the Dish where true Dishheads reside. The only tough love we’re offering is the answer to the View From Your Window Contest. You’ll have to become a member to find where the place is. Ha!

Aside from this being interesting to me as a writer, I feel compelled to report on it because I previously gave Bart Ehrman crap (specifically, said he “looks like an old fart who doesn’t understand the internet”) for paywalling his posts. Sullivan, unlike Ehrman, has a long track record of successfully innovating in the business world, which makes me inclined to take this more seriously.

We’ll need to see if Sullivan is sticking to this model a year from now, but personally, I had no qualms about signing up for a membership (as I did with Ehrman’s site, in spite of my reservations.)

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