TPM Reader JC adds shrewd perspective …
I find TPM to be my most trusted source for US political news. It’s worth every penny I pay for my Prime membership. In fact, it’s worth a lot more than $50 a year to me. I would like to pay at least $25 a month and would be happy to pay $50 a month. Would you folks please consider allowing folks to subscribe at levels about $50 a year? I am not looking for extra benefits or features; I just think some (and hopefully many) of your readers place an even higher value on the amazing and reliable resource you have built for us.
1. Did I like this email: Yes.
2. Did I write it: No.
3. Do I blame you for suspecting I might have: Not entirely.
4. Did I mention that we really need you to become a member? Don’t all answer at once.
After the jump, I answer JC’s question and also explain how we’re making sure that no one is shut out of Prime because they lack the means to pay the fee.
First, as I’ve mentioned a few times now, can you take a moment to become a member? You’ll get a deeper, better TPM experience, with less clutter, great articles and a bunch of features. And you’ll also help us, a lot, for reasons I explained here.
So can you just to be awesome decide to unilaterally increase the cost of your membership ten-fold? Well, no. But we have something that we think is even better: credit subscriptions. We know there are many of you who can and want to support our work over and above the $50 membership fee. At the same time, for various reasons, we want to keep Prime discrete and bounded as a product that you purchase. But when we created Prime there was another issue we wanted to address.
Relative to the population at large our readership runs pretty affluent. But we have many readers who are on fixed incomes, barely making ends meet, facing financial difficulties of uncertain duration, penniless students and so forth for whom $50 is just too much to spend. And as much as we wanted to create a premium version of the site and create a new revenue stream, we didn’t want core readers locked out of this expanded dimension of the site for financial reasons.
That was the genesis of credit subscriptions. Folks with the wallet and inclination can purchase credit subscription and we will assign them to readers who can’t afford to the fee (Here’s a primer on the criteria we use and how we assign them). Simple as that. To be clear, it’s all arms-length and anonymous. You will not know the identity of the recipient and vice versa.
So, want to make it possible for ten fellow readers to join up? Buy ten. Or buy one. Or, seriously, don’t feel under any obligation to buy any, especially if you’ve already become a member. This is simply a way for us to square two circles at once – get more revenue for TPM and be true to our values of inclusion across financial means.