Beacons of hope?

On Pandodaily, Hamish McKenzie recently reported on the launch of Beacon, a $5 a month subscription site that shares its revenues with the journalists who write the articles that appear on the site. The model is similar to those in place for NSFW, which charges $3 a month, and The Dish and The Magazine, which charge $2 a month each.

At least for the moment, Beacon provides journalists with access to audiences interested in their particular journalism, and little else. Contributions are self-edited, with somewhere between 60% and 75% of revenues allocated to contributors.  To McKenzie's eye, the "roster has a bias towards freelance international correspondents", certainly a type of reporting that deserves a wider audience.

I like the idea of a platform that supports niche content. I continue to worry that it is delivered in a "write once, read once" model, one that has simply changed the method of aggregation. The idea of "funding one writer for a month" is an admirable one, but it will take more than a few hundred loyal followers before journalists can say they are making a living on it.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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