WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Will Audiences Pay for Blogs?

Apr 9, 2013

The Shop Talk panelists discuss political blogger Andrew Sullivan’s decision to charge readers to subscribe to his blog.

NPR’s Planet Money team reported Sullivan is charging $19.99 or more per year for subscriptions. It quoted him as saying, “It was either quit blogging, or suck it up and become a businessman.”

Most bloggers try to make money by selling ads, but Sullivan indicated he wanted to avoid selling ads because they chase away page views.

The Shop Talk panelists said his plan is a bit like public broadcasting – asking audiences to pay for the product in exchange for having no commercial interruptions. They feel this blog model could work for well-known personalities such as Sullivan but question whether it would be as successful on a smaller, more local level.