Publisher and journalist Dave Pellegrin suggests that it’s time for Civil Beat to become more transparent.
Last week Andrew Sullivan announced he was separating his blog (The Dish) from The Daily Beast and taking it independent — to be supported by paid subscriptions. Within a couple of days after making his first appeal, he showed his readers the results.
We know how many paid subscribers Sullivan has, the average subscription amount, even the break-down state-by-state. That transparency should be applauded.
Contrast that to Civil Beat, which, going on three years, still has not released its number of paid subscribers — even, apparently, to its own staff. That means CB employees have no idea of the revenue of the company they work for, nor of its profitability.
It’s an outmoded way of doing business. Loyal subscribers and employees alike would benefit from having such basic information. Long overdue for CB to be more open.
Subscriptions and readership have been important metrics in the publishing industry, where these data are important indicators of value for advertiser and readers as well, it seems. But with Civil Beat pursuing an ad-free business model, they haven’t been under the same pressure for disclosure.
How portable is Sullivan’s independent, subscription model? Here’s another view (“The Dish Goes Indie: Big Change for Blogging, or Just for Andrew Sullivan?“).