- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Just over a year ago Conde Nast acquired the tech blog and community site Ars Technica for about $25 million. Yesterday Ars Technica launched a paid subscription option named “Premier”. This new paid service costs $50/year and includes a variety of features including ad-free browsing and premier-only content. Other features include:
- premier-only chats
- full-text feed RSS
- downloadable pdf option for longer stories and one-page reading
Could it be?? Is Ars the first major tech site to charge for full RSS feeds? Could my post about RSS for $1 finally be gaining some forward momentum? What does Dave Winer think about this?
It’s a good move for Ars to test the waters with a paid subscription option. When Ars was acquired I noted that they weren’t acquired for the blog component but rather for the very strong community. Most of the larger blogs are trying different options to increase revenue for their respective companies. Techcrunch and VentureBeat runs conferences, Readwriteweb sells reports, Gigaom sells a pro subscription and runs conferences, and Mashable holds events. Revenue diversification is nearly always a good thing — especially as online advertising continues to struggle.
Steven Hodson has more on the Ars Premier launch.