Can the subscriber model work in digital sports media?

That Sheehan has convinced readers to pay in a market full of free content is a testament to his reputation, his network and, of course, his ability. Sheehan is aware of his strengths and weaknesses. He focuses his analysis on teams and leagues more than players, because that’s what he learned in the ‘90s and ‘00s, before the days of GIFs and Statcast. He is mostly content to leave swing breakdowns and pitch-mix analyses to younger writers more versed in those areas. Sheehan doesn’t want you to read him instead of, say, FanGraphs, he wants you to read him in addition to FanGraphs.

Source: Alex Putterman, Awful Announcing

We all want to get paid for our work and congratulations to Sheehan and others who have made it happen.  Most of us will never get someone to fork over $35 a year for a subscription.  But there’s got to be something between $35 and nothing.

I’ve long felt that there’s going to be an alliance of smaller blogs/outlets where a reader pays a small sum, say $10 a year, and the writers get something like a penny per view.  Maybe $10 is too little and a penny per view is too much.  But the general principle of readers paying a microscopic fee to read articles that in the end amount to very little to the individual consumer seems feasible to me.

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