This is important: The Daily Beast contributor Andrew Sullivan has left to sell his writing through his own company, Dish Publishing. His new publication will not accept ads but rather will support itself through subscriptions. Sullivan’s making his move with the help of a metering startup by the name of Tinypass, an e-commerce platform that allows sites to charge for access to content. During his first day in business his subscriptions ran into the six figures.
Publishers have traditionally drawn eyeballs to ads to make money. Consequently, publishers do things to directly or indirectly serve their advertisers. What’s important here is Sullivan’s suggestion that he is now only accountable to his readers. The middle man has vaporized. Just a writer, his audience and an inexpensive meter.
This is big for me because I’ve always assumed that our thinking and wisdom are free and that they serve to drive other activities in our world. But I wonder if the idea of directly selling our ideas and knowledge is more viable than most of us think?
The translation of physician wisdom into retrievable digital content is happening slowly. I can’t help but think that as scalable models for selling what we know emerge, this translation will happen faster.