Saturday, December 01, 2012

Episode 1531: Duotrope's Digest Goes Paid

Just heard that Duotrope's Digest is switching to a paid model. I most likely won't miss it, but will other writers? Although I've used it sporadically, it just never became an integral part of my life as a writer. I mean, it was fun for a while, tracking my acceptance percentage and watching Eunoia Review hold steady at the top of the listings for swiftest markets, but as an editor, to be honest the site hasn't actually driven much traffic to my journal lately. Seems that under the new paid model, effective from 2013, most of the features that've been provided for free in the past will now only be available to paid subscribers. What I'm curious to know is whether the site will in fact be able to get enough paying subscribers to carry on running, which is the whole point of transitioning to a subscriber model, rather than relying on donations. Given that only around 10% of its users have donated in the past to the operating costs of the site, how much of that group will now be willing to become subscribers? In addition, how many people who've previously used its features at no cost will now be prepared to start coughing up a little money? The sums are pretty insignificant in my opinion, US$5/month or US$50/year, but intuitively, I'm sceptical that all that many people will be willing to start paying for something that they've managed to get for free in the past. Also, with so little functionality left for non-subscribers, how will the site grow its subscriber base?

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