By Brian Moritz
How many things are you subscribed to right now?
How many news organizations or writers or blogs or podcasts do you pay for every month?
How many do you plan on being subscribed to at this time next year?
The growth of the subscription model has been one of the biggest developments in online journalism in the past few years. In the sports world, where my research is situated, this is most clearly seen by the growth of The Athletic, the subscription-only site that’s expanded into every major pro market in the U.S. and in November received $40 million in venture capital funding.
But in 2019, it feels like there’s a bit of a reckoning coming. There’s a subscription-pocalypse looming. And newspapers are going to get hit by it.
The subscription model makes a lot of sense for publishers. The advertising-based model that supported the industry for 100 years doesn’t work in a digital world where Facebook and Google swallow nearly 60 percent of all online ad revenue.
A subscription model provides a steady stream of income that is not reliant on traffic. In theory, this incentivizes better stories because publications don’t have to chase clicks. This is The Athletic’s model and it’s Click here to read entire article