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Why we've launched a paid subscription option

Why we've launched a paid subs...
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To our valued readers,

New Atlas is fast approaching its 15th birthday, and we'd like to thank you all for your readership over the years.

Today, we launched a paid subscription option for those of you who want to directly support what we do, instead of indirectly, via advertising.

Here's why we're doing this:

1. Some of you really don't like ads

The overwhelming majority of complaints we get are about the advertising on the site. We do our best to maintain a good user experience, but increasingly, the things advertisers want are the things you don't want. This is unsustainable.

30% of you use an ad blocker on your desktop browser. That costs us tens of thousands of dollars in revenue a month (as contrary to popular belief, you don't have to click them for us to get paid). That's an enormous amount of money for a company of our size.

When we experimented with detecting ad blockers, and asking people to turn them off, a staggering percentage of the feedback we got was people telling us they would rather pay us directly.

So we built it.

2. Live by the algorithm, die by the algorithm

Algorithms decide how many people read our site, and how much we get paid for the ads those people see.

The incentives are broken, and don't reward diligent, considered, high-quality journalism. That's why many news websites write countless articles about a new product on the same day, with a single, atomic fact in each. More chance of it coming up in a search engine. That's why news has become so politicized and inflammatory – there's more chance of it getting shared on Facebook.

We've decided to try to build a sustainable business that can focus on better serving you, rather than lowering the bar and chasing drive-by traffic from social networks and search engines.

3. We're self-funded and independent

Our future isn't guaranteed.

More than 20 editors, writers and developers work full-time on New Atlas.

We're one of the last significant publications on the web that isn't owned by a big media company, or funded by venture capital.

That means we can be a filter, rather than a firehose. We'd like to keep it that way.

What you get as a paid subscriber

First and foremost, you get a better looking ad-free site that allows you to focus on the content without distraction. In addition to the cleaner layout, the user experience is improved by faster loading pages and photo galleries.

It's the site we've always wanted to make.

We'll also be rolling out subscriber-only content, site features, and deals over the course of the year.

For the time being, only those of you in the United States and Australia will be able to buy a subscription. We're working on rolling this out to other countries.

As always, we'd love to hear your feedback.

Thanks,The New Atlas Team

*** Click here to see our introductory pricing ***

16 comments
yawood
Hooray. I have just subscribed and the interface is like the old Gizmag in that each picture has a synopsis of the story beside it. So, not only am I rid of the annoying adverts but I am able to better select which stories to open as I browse the list.
DanielMetcalf
Thank you all for remaining independent and not giving in to external pressures! Keep up what you're doing, I'll be sure to subscribe soon.
Will
Thank you! Your analysis of the situation and your response to it is liberating. An awesome example for others. I just subscribed and love it.
Ralf Biernacki
I'm in Europe, so I cannot subscribe now---but I will, when it becomes available. The price right now is reasonable---much more, and I wouldn't bite ;-). BTW, the premium feature I would like the most is the ability to DL a *.pdf of an article I find interesting, at the push of a button. It's possible to do it by hand now, but a button would be more convenient. Another nice premium feature would be to be able to keep a log of the articles I commented on.
Aross
I'd stop using an ad blocker if web sites would stop making their advertising so damned intrusive. Embedding ads all over the place and running video ads without my say so is rude. Having to click on "Next" many times to read a story is a pain and is the reason I stopped reading news papers. Embedding ads slows the speed at which pages load and my time is valuable. As far as I am concerned, if there are too many ads, I stop going to that site thereby reducing your revenue anyway. You need to find a happy medium.
Simos Kozanidis
I will happily pay this 19$ once you offer it for oversea users
Username
This is as brilliant as the name change was ridiculous. Can't wait for it to be available in Canada.
Paul Karaffa
Awesome. I wish more went in this direction. I literally get 90% of my technology news from New Atlas. Much love. But money is tight right now. Will subscribe in the next few months. Thanks for the flexibility as well. This will go a long way towards users getting their own preference.
Captain Danger
I have no problem paying for content I like. Gizmag is my favourite website and I have witelisted it with my adblocker but will sign up as soon a you make it available in Canada. Which begs the question what do you need to change in order to make it available everywhere?
LordInsidious
Can we please address the elephant in the room: ads are necessary but have become the largest source of malware. I like ads, ads show me things I may want, not always, but enough. Advertising won't let me directly edit what topics and kinds of products I am interested (bad, but not a deal breaker) and then they become the source for malware (deal breaker). So I am blocking ads, I will not be signing up for a subscription as the responsibility for what happens on a site is that sites. If this means New Atlas will stop me from viewing, that's too bad but it's not in my control, nor is anything I'm going to lose sleep over. I think that there is enough sites like this who are stuck between a rock and an ad space (pun intended) to actually get the big ad providers to fix their platforms so that ads are safe and contextually relevant to the user.