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Billy Penn, Denverite, and The Incline are all going after members. Can they become predominately reader-supported?

Last fall, Spirited Media was laying off staff at each of its three publications. Earlier this year, it shifted its strategy to seeking significant reader support, namely, membership (contributions, donations, gifts), a business decision that a whole slew of other sites both large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, legacy or startup, have converged on in the past several years.

The three sites together are “just south of 1,500 paying customers,” 60 percent of whom are signed up as recurring contributors (of these, the average annual contribution is around $115 or $120). Denverite, which launched its program first, has around 900 members. (Nieman Lab)


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