Sullivan succeeds in “reader-supported journalism”
Thursday, December 19th, 2002
Raising $79,020 from 3,339 readers, AndrewSullivan.com has proven that “the web has the potential to deliver truly independent, reader-supported journalism.” Congratulations Andrew!
Sullivan asked for $20 contributions. And that’s roughly what he got. So now we’ve got an initial pricing point for high-quality online journalism. Wonder what would have happened if Sullivan had asked for $25? Or $10?
It is interesting to note that Glenn Reynolds had a wide range of donations yesterday. “Changing the PayPal button to let people pick the amount clearly unlocked untapped demand. It used to just take donations in the amount of $2.50 — somehow I set it up that way and never got around to changing it. (This site, unlike, say, Andrew Sullivan’s or Bill Quick’s, isn’t set up to be revenue-maximizing). But I got several emails close together asking me to change it to let the user choose the amount, and lo-and-behold, people responded with donations ranging from $75.00 to one cent. Yes, one cent. As an economist would say, it’s a diverse mix of preferences.”
Whatever the pricing point, whatever the naysays grumble, don’t miss the trend: commerce and culture are inseparably entwined. We are going to see lots more of this.