Well, that's a tricky statement.
What if the model became two-fold:
- Premium subscription: Users pay for access to content with the option to turn ads off and on, along with the ability to join a closed community
- Free subscription: Ad supported but only ads that meet a quality threshold with no ability to turn ads off and on along with no ability to join a closed community
With a not-to-terribly-difficult system to put into place, having the options displayed upfront to the readers and creating high-quality ads, everyone would come out as winners.
- Advertisers: Have the ability to target paid subscribers (when they opt in) and free subscribers with high-quality ads. Their production costs might increase due to the level of ads but that might weed out some of the questionable advertisers to begin with.
- Publishers: Receive two revenue revenue streams, which would help offset its own production and research costs while still providing value to the readers and offering key audiences to advertisers.
- Readers: Get to choose what they want and how they want it.
I'd like to see this model in place (think Slack + Squarespace + Stripe).
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