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Prime is the premium version of the TPM website - cleaner, faster, fewer ads, with original content, special site features, our members only discussion forum and a lot more. It's not another side site somewhere else, it's the same TPM you already love - just better. I'm going to describe below the individual features and additions you get. But it's meant to be an integrated whole - a deeper, more engaging, more user-friendly experience designed specifically with our core readership in mind.
Let me briefly explain what you get.
1. Prime gives you the TPM website you know and love with cleaner and less cluttered page layouts and dramatically fewer ads. Prime also includes none of the intrusive and annoying ads that particularly turn people off. Like the 'bumper' ad that sometimes runs at the bottom of the site. It's a faster, more pleasurable, less cluttered reading experience.
2. No display ads on mobile. That's right. There's not much real estate on a smartphone in the first place. So ads can be particularly cumbersome. On our smartphone optimized mobile site, with Prime, you'll never see a display ad. We still have sponsored/recommended article links beneath the articles, as we do on the desktop website. But zero display ads.
3. Full RSS feeds, with zero ads. If you're into RSS, enough said.
4. Original longform stories, exclusively for subscribers. This is one of the core concepts behind Prime. Since most of our operation is funded by ads, it's not always economic for us to pour a lot of time into a piece that runs several thousands words and may have only a relatively small audience. But these are articles we think our core readers would very much be interested in reading. And our experience so far has more than borne that out. An example is the history of the demise of the filibuster piece we published just today by TPM's Sahil Kapur. Prime gives us a revenue stream that makes it possible to do dedicate the resources to pieces like this that are really aimed only at our core readers. And deeper, longform articles are a key part of what we want TPM's future to be.
5. The Hive. This is our members-only discussion area where Prime members discuss every topic under the sun. That ranges from the filibuster to the fate of Obamacare to gun control, fiscal policy or just the breaking news of the day. Some of it's serious, other stuff is more lighthearted. But the quality of the conversation is very high. The cost of entry strips out the trolls and creates a community of dedicated TPM Readers who want a conversation that simply isn't possible in the public comment threads. We also discuss TPM itself. How we're doing, what we can do differently or better and advice and feedback on new features and initiatives we're starting which we discuss first in The Hive.
6. Live Chats. These also take place in The Hive and it's where TPM staffers and outside experts (like education policy guru Diane Ravitch most recently) come to answer your questions. We're expanding this part of Prime now and joining it to the new book clubs we're hosting at TPMCafe.
7. The final part of the equation are a growing list of special features to help improve your TPM experience. One is simple but a real favorite of Primates, bookmarks. Yes, there are other ways you can bookmark articles. But this is built right into the site. Save that article you really liked or bookmark one you want to return to later. The other is 'New to You'. We publish a ton of stuff every day at TPM. And it can be hard to keep up. Which story on the front page is new since you visited last, what got published and slipped off the front page entirely since last stopped by. New to you gives a clean chronological feed of everything published across the site, with articles that appeared since your last visit specially highlighted.
It's TPM as we've always wanted it to be, with special features and content targeted right at our core readers. And then there's the final part of the equation. TPM is 100% independent. We're not part of a larger corporation. There's no money man in the background funding the thing. We need to operate in the black to survive, mainly against competitors who have those advantages noted above. Obviously every additional dollar of revenue is important for us. But consistent, dedicated revenue is especially important since it helps us make the entire operation more stable and robust. And that helps us create a better, more resourced site for you every day, even if you only read the public part of the site.
So that's my pitch. It's $50 a year. I ask you to join us and join the premium TPM experience. Click here to sign up now. If you have questions, drop me a line personally at our comments email address right there at the top.