By Brian Kovalesky, StartUp Beat editor
I have some news about StartUp Beat that I want to share because it directly impacts you, the readers, and the site you’ve help build with your loyalty and support over the years.
This month I am phasing in an ad-free, subscription model for StartUp Beat. Access to the site will cost $1.99 per month, moving forward (you’ll get two free articles/posts before being prompted to sign up). I’m partnering with a well-capitalized, well-regarded and trusted paywall provider for billing.
Over time, as StartUp Beat has moved from being an experiment to becoming a full-fledged news and features destination focused exclusively on early-stage startups and the entrepreneurs behind them, I have considered and experimented with various revenue models to keep the site afloat and turn a profit while maintaining the site’s value for both the audience and the startups featured. After analyzing the various options, I’ve determined that for a niche website with a dedicated fan base like StartUp Beat, advertising and paid value-added offerings are less effective than a monthly subscription model. So, I’ve decided to set up a very reasonable (only $1.99/month!) paid subscription that will allow everyone to benefit most from the site. For example, rather than offering a job board that charges startups a monthly fee for postings (something I did experiment with), I plan to continue to build StartUp Beat Jobs—free for (often cash-strapped) startups and job hunters alike. The only cost is the $1.99 monthly subscription to StartUp Beat. Instead of distracting native ads or sponsored content, for example, the $1.99 monthly subscription will keep the focus squarely on the featured early-stage startups and experts in entrepreneurship.
StartUp Beat is a niche publication that will likely never achieve the huge numbers and scale that some other startup- and tech-focused news websites get. That’s okay, because the mission has always been to focus on quality over quantity and ensure that the site is not just a list of startups, but a curated editorial destination where readers can discover serious early-stage startups that offer real innovation and truly have the potential to be the ‘next big thing.’ The subscription revenue will now allow me to build out some new features and expand the scope of the site’s editorial content while always remaining laser-focused on early-stage startups.
So thank you for your continued support. I’m not going to do one of those “$1.99 is less than a single cup of coffee” [although it really is…the price of a single small cup of coffee will get you access to all of StartUp Beat for a whole month!] pitches, but if you enjoy StartUp Beat, please do support independent media and the startups featured on the site and consider a subscription. And as always, please do contact me personally if you have questions, concerns, or experience any difficulties with the subscription system at brian(at)startupbeat.com.