Brian Feeney

RSS and the Cost of Solo Subscriptons

Ajay, on Substack subscriptions:

In that introductory message I linked to above, Andrew mentions the similar Substack-based endeavors of Jesse Singal and Matt Taibbi, and while I think both of those guy as are superb journalists, if I were to subscribe to their work as well as Andrew’s that would cost me 150 bucks a year. I still might do it — but that’s a lot of coin for three voices.

There’s an economies-of-scale problem here. At a newspaper or magazine, writers share an editorial and technical infrastructure, so costs of production are distributed. Those who go it alone don’t get to benefit from that, and neither do their readers. So the cash outlay for those readers can escalate in a hurry.

This is one of the problems I solved for when designing Feeeds. While most RSS feeds users would add to their accounts would be full content, one would have the option to offer truncated feeds for links, but also paid feeds for receiving full content. In addition, feeds could be bundled by a group of bloggers who might want to publish their own "magazine" via RSS for a single fee.

Every few months, I see another reason why I should get this app off the ground.

July 23, 2020