Premium: The first seven days

A progress report to subscribers and readers.

By Salon Staff

Published May 3, 2001 12:18AM (EDT)

Dear Salon reader,

Our Salon Premium subscription service is off to a roaring start -- thanks to the support of so many of you who responded to our offer with alacrity and enthusiasm.

We know that charging for subscriptions for content sites on the Internet remains an unorthodox move. For those of you who've chosen to take the plunge in our first week, many thanks: We're making history together.

For those of you who don't wish to subscribe, for whatever reason, please understand that we're still offering nearly all the articles and content we always have, for free. If you're happy with the free Salon you've known and loved all these years, that's great -- be our guest, and understand that the readers who are subscribing are helping to keep our virtual presses rolling for everyone.

Some of you have written to tell us that you're irritated when you click on a headline on our home page, only to find that the article is "premium only." We've never liked sites that simply throw up a blank wall demanding an entry fee to access "for-pay" content, and we want to give nonsubscribers some taste of what the paying subscribers are getting. That's why we provide these abridged versions of the premium stories -- and we're still fine-tuning how they work. Sure, we hope that these tastes will whet your appetite to subscribe, but we also intend them to provide something of value even to those of you who have no intention of ever doing so.

Others have written to us wondering whether today's Premium is simply a nose-in-the-tent kind of deal, preparing the way for an entirely subscribers-only site in the future. (An erroneous media report misquoting our founder, David Talbot, outlining such a plan helped fan such suspicions.) That's not our plan. Of course, there's no way to predict the future in the volatile Web industry -- and just as when we started Salon five and a half years ago, the concept of a Salon Premium seemed far-fetched, we can't know today the twists and turns the business will take down the road. But we're committed to making the Premium subscription plan work as we've built it -- as an option. Over time we'd like to continue to expand the different choices we offer you, our readers.

In the meantime, Salon Premium is off to a grand start. Thanks again to all those who've put your money where your mouse-clicks are, and for the rest of you -- come on board whenever you're ready.

-- Scott Rosenberg, managing editor

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------