More premium articles for Basic members


I was thinking that with the recent increase in premium articles it would be a good idea to up the limit from 3 articles per month for Basic membership to, say, 10-12. Maybe more if you don’t mind.

While low, 3 was an honest limit when there was like 6 premium articles per month. Now there are often more then that many articles per day so…

I’m just asking if you could consider that.

I do think about going with the premium membership eventually, don’t think less of me because I didn’t yet. We can’t all always do as we please, unfortunately.

Thanks for reading guys!

Comments (33)

33 responses to “More premium articles for Basic members”

  1. Wolf

    Sorry, but this makes no sense at all. If you want more premium content, pay the premium. :)

    • jd80

      In reply to Wolf:

      Please note that i didn't say "all the premium articles" or even "any of the other premium content". I'm just asking for a slight ajustment.

      A few month back Basic members could read about 30 to 50% of all premium articles. There have been about 15 premium articles in the last 10 days (per the Premium Content page)... so let's round that to about 50 per month so... They could now read about 6% of them, yay!

      I'm not in the "everything should be free camp", far from it, but I do think it's a reasonable request, that is to ask them to considere a slight ajustment. I didn't threaten to leave or anything. We're all adult here, this is a question that can be asked with no shame and if anybody in team Thurrott think it's insane they can say so, but please, Wolf, don't tell me this makes no sense.

      • Wolf

        In reply to jd80:

        Basing your logic on percentages is even more ridiculous. You don't seem to understand the basic concept: Premium content is for customers who pay for that content. It's really very simple.

        • jd80

          In reply to Wolf:

          I understand that. And do you understand that Basic membership is supposed to make people want to pay for the Premium to see all of it. Kind of a demo, but if the demo is to limited, people won't pay for more.

          Using percentage makes sure that those who pay still have a lot more than those who don't, how do you think they come up with 3 in the beginning? They probably said they were going to do a certain amount of premium content and let people see a part (a percentage) of that for free.

          If you still think it makes no sense, maybe you should write another post suggesting to remove the Basic membership completely then.

          Have a good day sir Wolf and thank you for the comments.

          • lwetzel

            In reply to jd80:

            And too much access then you won't pay either because it doesn't gain that much.

            • jd80

              In reply to lwetzel:

              Premium content is more than just articles and most of it is already exclusive to premium members.

              Maybe if I had said 30 articles you could say that "at one per day people will never pay premium" and you would probably be right.

              But if there is say 50 premium articles a month and Basic member only have access to 10, that's still 40 (probably great) articles they can't access until the next month where there will be ~50 new premium articles to choose from. That way, Basic members will be kept engaged, but won't ever catch up, which might eventually convince them to sign up for premium to see the missed articles and the remaining premium content.

              Thanks for the comments, lwetzel.

  2. jimchamplin

    Maybe 5 or 6, but not 10-15.

  3. harmjr

    I wish admins would start blocking these post on the home page and only allow tech commentary or tech questions on the home page. Let them be buried in the forums.

  4. reservoirmike

    As a lot of you have pointed out, more Premiums may not make a long time reader who hasn't upgraded already upgrade, but it might sway a newcomer and help grow the site. I continue to read the site as a non-premium member picking and choosing my freebies carefully, but I have read Paul for years. A newcomer might not maintain the same level of interest with access to so little Premium content, or choose articles that don't meet up to Premium expectations (this happens quite a bit to me personally) and move on.

  5. Chaoticwhizz

    If there was a $20-$25 a year tier where I just had access to x number of premium articles a month and nothing else, that would be awesome to me. I want to pay Paul and club for their work but I have a lot of trouble justifying more then that for one website.

    • yaddamaster

      In reply to Chaoticwhizz: that would be interesting. I already subscribe to two magazines and have two patreo vendors I "support". I like Thurrott, but I'm not adding another $60 /yr subscription. But $25 or $30 a year? Yeah, my mental model could support that.

    • reservoirmike

      In reply to Chaoticwhizz:

      How about a lower tier membership with X articles per month that roll over on a month-to-month cycle like cellular data, or a max article balance like Audible credits?

  6. Tony Barrett

    There are plenty of non-subscribers who contribute a lot to the site. I feel the monthly asking price is quite high - we're talking almost basic Netflix monthly sub costs here! I know Paul has to pay the mortgage on this new house, and Brad has to pay for his latest Surface toy or his office refurb, but I'd say 3 premium articles per month is now very, very low, considering 90%+ of Paul's articles are now premium. I'd say 5 would be more realistic.

  7. Jules Wombat

    Well at least Paul didn't punch his producer in the face because he couldn't get a hot steak.

    Amazon don't offer any free content as far as I know, so Top Gear fans have to stump up and pay for the original, or make do with Joey.

    • seapea

      In reply to Jules_Wombat:

      I have a Fire Stick, there is free content from Amazon that don't require Prime.

    • Bob Nelson

      In reply to Jules_Wombat:

      Both Amazon Prime & Netflix offer a one-time-only 30 day free trial.

      (They do require verifiable personal & payment info.)

      Some variation of that might work here. Access to premium content for a full month should be enough to decide whether or not you want to pony up for the year.

  8. JustMe

    I think your point is valid, though I will also say that 10-12 is a very tall ask. We're talking about someone's livelihood here. I would respectfully ask for possibly one extra (so, 4 total) articles per month for Basic subscribers based on the Premium emphasis, but not more than that.

    Folks that are familiar with Paul's work and are able to financially likely either are premium already or are considering premium (or, have already moved on). I myself am contemplating Premium, given the recent changes here. The difficulty I see with the recent emphasis on Premium content is in Paul growing his audience - I can easily envision a scenario where new people see so much of Paul's content behind a pay wall that they just look for content elsewhere. I think it would be an interesting study to figure out if the changes here have worked out as Paul and his team intended. Have they gotten the results they thought they might?

    While I dont always agree with him, Paul's work is excellent. For that matter, so is the work of the other writers here. Whether, in the end, I decide to become a Premium member or not (its a time issue for me), I do wish Paul and his team all success.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to JustMe:

      Thank you.

      I understand all the debates on premium vs. non-premium, of course. Wish that the way the world worked was that we didn't have to do such a thing. But ... advertising fell through the floor over the past several years. So we're trying to adapt to the new normal.

      That said, and I'll post something like this to a comment to a related forum post, we (the BWW team) are always re-evaluating what we offer, and how, and we are likewise always open to ideas. We meet weekly virtually, and we are meeting in person next week. What premium is, etc. is always a main topic of discussion.


      • Roger Ramjet

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Idea: do more in depth interviews with those who are making these stuff you report. That is where real, uncommon insights can be found. Like the Chris Microsoft Marketing honco, the Qualcomm Guy in Hawaii etc. If you can do this x2 monthly continuously (and the subjects are OK with you putting it behind a paywall), I think this is the best differentiator/new journalism, you can get to, everything else, tech breaking news, blogger's opinion/analysis can be found elsewhere too easily in the days of internet. It used to be we all lived off of search costs, but Google has solved search.

        • Chris_Kez

          In reply to Roger Ramjet:

          This has been my feedback as well. I think Paul had a great one not too long ago, and I believe he has another one he is writing up. But yeah, I think the key to differentiating this site is by tapping into a very strong network of connections, distilling that information and then explaining it and expanding on it.

    • jd80

      In reply to JustMe:

      We can all agree that the work done on this website is excellent.

      When I said 10-12... It was to say about 20% of the premium article.

      Since Mehedi is there, there is about 50 premium articles per month. As I said in another comment, 20% of that or 10 articles per month or 1 every 3 days will keep Basic members engaged (which might lead to new users), while leaving them out of 80% of the premium articles. Which should be enough to eventually convert them to premium, with all the articles they missed plus the remaining premium content.

      10 articles should also be enough for newcomer to learn to love Paul's style and eventually pay for premium too.

      Thanks for the comment, JustMe.

      • seapea

        In reply to jd80:

        To me it depends on how much Paul want's the 'freebie' to be an inducement to pay and how much as something to provide for people willing to signup. Way back when he discussed going with some free premium content I thought he was going to go 1 a week.

        But with the increased premium output it seems to me that he really wants people to pay for the articles. I think i prefer that to the constant popup ads that were here.

        I'm not paying up, but more power to him. If he decides no premiums for free, that would be fine by me.

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to jd80:

        No worries, and no need to justify the comments. We hear you. We are discussing this.


  9. MyDogFreddie

    jd80 makes a good point, imo. The current limit of 3 Premium articles/month for Basic members may ultimately be counter-productive, in that new readers unfamiliar with Paul's work must make their decision to convert their membership to Premium status based on a small sample. And because so much of the content authored by Paul directly is now limited to Premium readers only (in addition to Basic 'samplers'), I can easily see many potential converts just moving on.

    The current business model is tilted heavily towards those long-term readers and fans of Paul's writing, which is excellent and deserving of support. It doesn't do much to attract new readers however, who must make a decision to subscribe on the weight of a several 'free' Premium articles per month.

    I'm curious as to whether this change is working out the way Paul had hoped. Personally, I think it's a shame a writer of his quality may possibly be read by an much smaller circle of readers.

    And way to lay out the welcome mat, guys.

    • jd80

      In reply to MyDogFreddie:

      Thanks it's another great way to formulate it.

      The tone was quite aggressive in the other comments, while I was just kindly asking for Team Thurrott to consider improving the Basic tier. Once in their hands, they do or they don't and we'll live with their decisions. I won't fight for this ;)

      Thanks for the comment, MyDogFreddie.

  10. kherm

    Sorry, but 10 to 12 free premium articles a month is ridiculous. Even something like 5 free would be pushing it.

    These fine writers have to make a living in an age where ads will bring in breadcrumbs, so premium was a necessity.

    • jd80

      In reply to kherm:

      Never said premium wasn't necessary.

      I'm thinking of the newcomer who won't pay from the start until they know they love the site. And to get a good idea of what the site have to offer, someone has to look at more that a few articles.

      Thanks for the comment, kherm.

  11. PincasX

    I'm sorry, do you normally ask people to do work for free? This is ridiculous if not insulting.

    • jd80

      In reply to PincasX:

      Well, i am sorry if you see it that way. That's not what I meant and I would hope that the tone of the post would invite to discussion instead of confrontation.

      If you read carefully, you probably notice that there were already free content, an honest quantity at first relative to all the premium content produces, but now... well... it's kind of limited, a newcomer can't really have a good idea of Paul's talent and style with only 3 articles before having to wait another month.

      But I see where you come from, thanks for the comment.

      • PincasX

        In reply to jd80:

        It's not the way I see it is what you said. You don't want to pay and feel entitled to get the content for free. It's one thing to not see value and not pay but entirely another to suggest that you should therefore get it for free. That is a slap in the face to the people that are trying to making a living off of writing here.

        • jd80

          In reply to PincasX:

          More "can't" than "don't want", but hey not everybody can understand that.

          I can assure you that I understand there are hard working people behind websites such as this one.

          And I don't feel entitled to anything and I never said it was about me.

          There were, there is already free stuff, that's great, that keep people engaged, they tell other people about the website and how they love it.

          But if a newcomer tell me the website seems great, but that he already burned his 3 articles and that there are 3 weeks remaining to the month and that he won't pay until he is sure he loves it. What should he do, create another account?

          • PincasX

            In reply to jd80:

            Bullshit! You have talked about how you have been reading for awhile and how there used to be more free premium content but you never upgraded to premium. Now your concern is new people only getting three articles and not wanting to upgrade. Your own actions have proven that more free premium articles don’t get people to upgrade. Drop the “won’t somebody think about the children” act and at least be honest.

  12. seapea

    I'm a mistaken or has the opportunity to post questions to get asked and responded to on First Ring Daily been limited to Premium members?