Just saw that the very cool Apple news (and other stuff) site The Brooks Review has set up A New TBR Business Model via Shawn Blanc:
“Gutsy” is one word for it. I’d go with “ballsy” and “I can’t wait to see how it goes”. The blog post goes into the details of it, but in short he took out all the ads and set up a $4/month membership. You pay, he writes. About as simple as you can get.
This will be (I think) a touchstone of what online published could become. It could be a complete failure, or it could work fantastically. A great episode of Build and Analyze a few weeks ago, and then reiterated on last week’s show basically put it out there that your (the viewer’s) eyeballs are more valuable to advertisers than they are to readers.
IE: If you are willing to pay $x for a “product” (website, online service, etc), an advertising agency will pay the website or online service owner more than $x because as an eyeball to put ads in front of, you have more potential value than that. I’ve phrased it poorly but hopefully you get the picture.
I have no idea what a “real” advertiser will pay for a moderately popular site to run an ad or RSS feed ad, but I’m fascinated to see what happens, and I really hope that @BenjaminBrooks follows up in a couple of weeks to let us know how it goes.