Super appreciate you opening this convo (it also links into something @ArcturusOne posted over in the related podcast thread). I’m super curious about what people think about this stuff, but one thing I def wanna make sure is clear is something I only touched on in the pod.
We know that a subset of fans would support our work just to support it–after all, like you D_W, we do the same! But we suspect that a much larger group would support us if we did offer bonus content. That former number is likely pretty small, all said. Even if it was, hypothetically, everyone who had an account on this forum, that’s not enough people to make it cost-effective to move towards a subscription focused model.
Even if we weren’t doing supporter-only content, we’d still need to set up a system for tracking subscribers, collecting payment, CMS integration, and figuring out how to route that through a big company. Not to mention getting all of this approved through legal, sales, etc.
It also would be a pretty light “step” into subscription-based service, and one that would make future offers more complicated across the company, if that were ever to happen. (For instance, again, TOTALLY hypothetical: what if Motherboard goes subscription based and they DO offer a bunch of content? What if we end up building a cross-site subscription offer? Etc.) There’s also the risk that we do a content-free tip jar model, but then what we open ourselves up to is for folks internally to use that as a metric for future subscription based solutions.
It’s one of those weird things because it seems like it would be so easy to add some sort of checkout button to the site like this, but it winds up being a lot more complicated than that.
None of that is meant to hamper conversation here. I’m sincerely curious in a way well beyond Waypoint! But I wanted to make sure some of the practical realities were on the table around this stuff so that the convo could be informed!