Andrew Sullivan Moving to Subscription-Only Model
Prominent blogger will ask readers to pay $20 a year
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 4:52 PM CST
Andrew Sullivan, left, and Aaron Tone arrive at the White House for a State Dinner in this file photo from March 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – One of the biggest names in blogging is going to test a new way of doing business. Starting Feb. 1, Andrew Sullivan's "The Dish" blog will leave the Daily Beast, become independent and ad-free, and ask readers to pay $19.99 a year. Sullivan, who previously partnered with the Atlantic, explains the rationale of relying solely on subscription revenue here. One key point:

  • "Here's the core principle: we want to create a place where readers— and readers alone—sustain the site. No bigger media companies will be subsidizing us; no venture capital will be sought to cushion our transition (unless my savings count as venture capital); and, most critically, no advertising will be getting in the way."

So can a paywall for a blog work? Some typical reaction:

  • "It’s definitely a move to watch," writes Jeff Sonderman at Poynter. "Sullivan is one of the pioneers of blogging; he has shaped the form and built an engaged community of readers." Still, "no one knows how this will go."
  • "If anyone can pull it off, it might be Sullivan," writes Matt K. Lewis at the Daily Caller.
  • "When Sullivan first started blogging independently a decade ago, he raised money via NPR-like pledge drives, writes Walter Hickey at Business Insider. "So in addition to being a brilliant blogger, he's also always been into experimenting with creative business models."

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Jan 3, 2013 3:38 AM CST
So Gay...
Jan 2, 2013 9:32 PM CST
subscription-only is certainly not a new idea but name one site, excluding porn, where that model has worked. sorry andrew but we're just not that into you...even if, god forbid, you choose to show some skin.
Jan 2, 2013 6:25 PM CST
No one reads the Daily Beast or "the dish" so it looks like it's just little Andy and his 19.99 a year he's gonna make, subsidized by his boy toy.