Blogger Andrew Sullivan, who left The Daily Beast and turned his Daily Dish site into an independent, crowdfunded media entity in 2012, said in his latest update on the site’s progress that while new signups have declined over the last six months, the site’s overall revenue has grown and is now close to the $1-million level. The number of subscribers is holding roughly steady at about 30,000.
Traffic to the site has been up and down during the last few months, Sullivan said — getting as high as 900,000 unique visitors in July, but then falling as low as 690,000 in September. As he points out in the post, however, the Daily Dish is a lot less dependent on traffic than other sites:
The silver lining to these ups and downs in traffic is that they do not really have an impact on our finances – because, unlike almost everyone else in online journalism, we’re completely subscription based. That guides us away from the sirens of clickbait, and allows us to provide content that we think matters – even though we know it won’t rack up pageviews.
Sullivan said that the site seems to have reached a balance between new signups and old members who fail to renew their subscriptions, and that the renewal rate for existing users is around 83 percent — which is relatively high for a media site. When subscriber revenue of $964,000 is added to revenue from affiliate and merchandise sales, he said the total is “bumping up against $1 million.”
From my point of view, while I’m sure Sullivan would prefer to see a huge influx of new subscriptions, the fact that he has been able to generate close to $1 million in revenue from his readers is still a fairly amazing achievement. It’s comparable to what the Dutch site De Correspondent has been able to do by signing up about 30,000 subscribers who now generate $1.7 million in annual revenue. Anyway you look at it, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Thinkstock / Tash Tuvango