Here’s the problem: Every day I get emails about great offers expiring real soon, better act now. They’re subscription deals from publications I mostly like, but I’m not signing up. I’d like to pay them though; here’s how.
At the moment, I subscribe (in the sense of paying regularly) to the New York Times and The Economist. Yes, I’m aware that’s boringly, crushingly, mainstream and sometimes I hate myself for it, but I keep on paying.
Want more mainstream? The pubs I like but don’t pay for include Ha’aretz, Beirut’s Daily Star, the Financial Times, the Paris Review, the Boston Globe (if only for The Big Picture), the Mop & Pail, and the New Yorker (if only for Roger Angell).
Those are among the ones clogging my mailbox trying to get me on that monthly-payment train. But there are just too many and in most cases, there’s a smell of diminishing returns. Which means that lots of times I follow an interesting link head-on into — splat! — a pay-wall.
Then I turn back, feeling bad because I’d like to pay to read the things I read. There has to be a better way than every publication having its own paywall and sending its own pleading offer-you-can’t-miss weekly emails.
In the music world, there are BMI and ASCAP, which (disclosure: I only weakly understand this business) apparently coördinate the paying of musicians for the playing of their music on radio stations and in stadiums and bars and so on.
I’m wondering why we don’t have something along those lines for publishers. If all those publications would get together and offer a place where I could throw like $20/month — with topping-up options — why wouldn’t I subscribe? I’d like there to be a standard fraction-of-a-buck charge to read something, with exclusive-Snowden-scoops and scorching-celebrity-confessions premium-priced. Given the chance, why wouldn’t I subscribe to everything?