Back in April, WordPress.com parent company Automattic acquired Longreads, a service that gathers long-form online content (1,500 words minimum) and offers it to readers via email subscription. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the service was expected to remain unchanged.
In fact, Longreads notes that after the acquisition, membership dues were no longer necessary to keep its four-person team paid. As a result, today’s news makes sense as we see Automattic’s money put to use — and further shows just how committed Automattic is towards Longreads.
Longreads currently has over half a million readers (though a spokesperson tells VentureBeat that there are just over 2,500 paying members). The company says its end goal is “to create a sustainable membership with a large enough base that it will fund reporting and writing at rates that are competitive with the best print magazines in the world.”
As Longreads explains it, the membership system has been turned into “a great big digital story fund” financed by readers. More Longreads members means more contributions … which in turn means more funded stories.
If long-form articles are something you love to read, Longreads recommends paying $3 per month or $30 per year. You can naturally choose to give more if you like.
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