The Dismal Present:
Advertising often results in insufficient revenue and creates additional problems for news publishers, including an emphasis on page-views as a driver of editorial decisions.
Subscriptions are not providing enough revenue for the vast majority of news publishers.
A New Part Of The Solution:
We at TendOrama intend to free news publishers from the constraints of insufficient revenue from advertising and subscriptions so they have greater freedom to produce the amount, type, and quality of content they want to create.
(To be clear: I’m the majority owner of TendOrama Ltd and TendOrama.com, which includes the News Publishers’ section discussed here. )
Advertising is almost universally hated.
Adding advertising and trackers to a news publisher’s site or app degrades readers’ experience. Ad blockers are common. The portions of ad revenues remitted to news publishers by ad brokers are small. The advertising model has failed online news publishers.
Subscriptions are also failing.
For most readers, the emotional commitment to a subscription is a greater barrier than the financial commitment. People have to commit to paying into the future; that means they must commit to liking a publication into the future. Worse, they are being asked to pay for value they are uncertain they will receive. Avoidance of a premature emotional commitment is the primary reason people choose not to purchase subscriptions, even when subscription prices are unsustainably cheap.
TendOrama is a middle ground for readers between buying a subscription and receiving value without paying at all. Remember, receiving something of value without reciprocation is aversive for most people (though many have learned to overcome their aversion). Through a TendOrama link a publisher adds to any article or post, readers can reward that publisher’s great work.
Using TendOrama is fulfilling for readers because they get to reward quality content they receive. They reciprocate that value without barriers, commitments, or expectations. Restoring a sense of fairness makes readers feel good.
We realize when you, as news publishers, have the resources to create more content you are proud of (you know your wish-list), then your readers appreciate you even more, which results in even greater revenue through TendOrama.
So although TendOrama definitely isn’t suitable for every publisher — and maybe not for you in particular — is it clear that adding TendOrama to a site or app can benefit those who do?
Theoretically, news publishers could add their own payment process to their site or app but TendOrama might be a better solution. First, people can use TendOrama all over, so it is ubiquitous, trusted, and seen as the normal way to show gratitude online and in daily life. Second, with TendOrama, publishers receive 95.5% of the revenue. That’s almost as much as publishers would keep when maintaining a payment process and paying credit card fees directly; and likely more than they retain after adding the costs and barriers of administering an internal payment 0program. TendOrama takes care of those barriers and costs. Finally, TendOrama adds elements of fun and connection to other readers that a simple payment process doesn’t.
Finally and importantly, readers themselves suggest how funds from their Tends should be used. Readers can choose to reward your writers directly, to support your organization generally, or to buy something for your non-writing staff and even suggest what to buy for them. TendOrama doesn’t police your disbursement of the revenue from your Tends; we know your morals and ethics are strong and we flatly reject any other notion. Whether a reader Tends your writer specifically or your organization generally, your whole enterprise gets stronger.
In addition to its basic service (adding to your revenue by gathering Tends for you), TendOrama provides a publisher’s dashboard. The dashboard has helpful information about which articles, writers, editors, and sections produce revenue, and how much. Publishers get real-time data about readers’ actual behavior, when their responses to your articles are strongly positive enough to prompt them to act on their appreciation immediately. The dashboard and data are provided at no extra cost.
We at TendOrama intend to fulfil the commitments we make to news publishers here and we hope you join us.