Slate Plus Offers Modest Perks for Modest Fee

Slate editor David Plotz wants to make one thing clear about his pub’s new pay-for service for “vociferous readers” -it’s NOT a pay wall!

“We’re not asking you to pay for stories, and we’re not turning on a meter that stops you 10 stories into the month,” Plotz wrote in a blog post today. “Everything that’s free on Slate will remain free for all Slate readers.”

But the new Slate Plus will offer some perks to readers who pay $5 a month or $50 a year -ranging from members-only live chats to ad-free podcasts. It’s all part of a strategy to become less reliant on ad revenue, says Plotz.

“Today Slate is growing and profitable, but I don’t need to tell you that journalism is an industry in flux, with an uncertain financial future,” he wrote. “We have long depended on revenue from advertising to make a great magazine without charging readers. And while advertising remains central to our success, we think we’d be better off if we were less dependent on it.”

Right now the list of perks for Slate Plus members is relatively small-bore (discounts on Slate merchandise, for example) but Plotz says they will continue to add new benefits periodically, much like Amazon’s premium service, Amazon Prime.

Check out the site’s FAQ here for more info.