Citing “flat-lined” sales, Andrew Sullivan’s Dish lowers paywall to 5 free stories every 60 days

The Dish Andrew Sullivan

The Dish is making its paywall stricter in its second month, Andrew Sullivan wrote Monday. He cited sales that “flat-lined once the meter reset for most people after March 8,” and the fact that people were accessing the site from multiple devices and thus increasing their limit of free stories.

Therefore, Sullivan writes, “we’ve decided to lower the meter to five free read-ons and extend the reset period from 30 days to 60 days. In all other respects, the meter will remain the same.” That’s 2.5 free read-on stories per 30 days — a big decrease from the seven per month that had been allowed. (“Read-on” stories refers to longer stories on the site; much content, including posts that link out to other sites, remains free.)

Sullivan, who will be speaking about pay models at paidContent Live on April 17 in New York, notes that The Dish has collected $644,000 in revenue since announcing its $19.99-per-year subscription in January. That’s up $33,000 since February 25, when we suggested The Dish might need to tweak its paywall, and a little over two-thirds of the way to its $900,000 goal.

Sullivan promised that new content will come with the tightened meter: “[We] are eager to begin commissioning long-form journalism and other projects like podcasting, and we can’t begin that in earnest until we have our basic operations funded.”

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