Music magazine Paste asked readers to help it out of its money troubles. The print magazine needed $300,000. After ten days it collected $175,000 in reader donations.
Some public broadcasting radio and TV stations raise money through donations — mainly in the US.
Can the reader donations model work for print?
The answer is, in a way it already does. Print magazines already earn revenue from copy and subscription sales. If there’s less advertising, the cover price is higher.
Copy and subscription sales used to be the main way magazine publishers would make money.
Many publications already carry no advertising and just make money from copy or subscription payments.
New Zealand’s Consumer Institute magazine Consumer doesn’t carry advertising. The same applies to Choice in Australia and similar titles elsewhere in the world.
This means the magazine’s readers know its articles are written without any pressure from advertisers.
It can a good business model for publishers. Subscription revenue is more reliable than advertising and you get it before paying for publishing costs. I think we’ll see more subscription-driven print titles in the future.
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