Wildly Speculating On Twitter’s Subscription Model

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter says that they might be moving to a subscription model because their ad revenues (in the age of the Trump-Virus) have tanked.

Let’s unpack this.

To understand what is going on, you need to know what everyone’s role is:

  • You are not the customer.
  • You are the product that Twitter sells.
  • Twitter’s customer is the advertiser.
  • Twitter’s business is selling ads.

Twitter is no different from Facebook in this sense, or any other media company.

Once upon a time, there was something called Newspapers. News papers essentially were an advertisement delivery vehicle. Unbelievably, newspapers got money from advertisers and money from readers. Just like cable companies: you pay for the service, and the cable company sells ads for you to consume. Win-win for newspapers! Yay!

Then the internet happened. Now people expect to have News for free, just like over-the-air broadcasts. Except as anyone in the teevee business will tell you, Broadcast is dying. I don’t know if Cable is dying, but I suspect that people are abandoning it for streaming services.

Twitter, if I am reading their suggestion correctly, is looking to join a dying business model if they think that their users will pay for the service to have ads served to them (and have Nazis and other dopes spew hate at them; it really is a sewer).

Some are suggesting Twitters new model will have people pay to NOT see ads, which is just stupid. Twitter is an advertising platform. If you remove the cream of the crop product (users with disposable income), why would advertisers stick with cheapskates and Nazis? Remember: you are the product.

So I don’t know what Twitter is going to suggest, but I know it is not that. There probably will be some enhanced features one can buy, analytics and whatnot, but that will not entice users, it will be for customers, brand managers and so on. It might be the case that they are going to offer enhanced experiences to them, but highly unlikely to users.

Just my two cents worth. Fire away in the comments.




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10 Responses to Wildly Speculating On Twitter’s Subscription Model

  1. bt says:

    I think pay to remove is a good idea, as in woth a try.

    NBC is going to use that for their new streaming service, as I understand it.

    Only question is, who is going to pay? Depending on the service the % could be very low, I suspect. And if you cripple the free experience too much to encourage payers, no one shows up. There’s probably a sweet spot somewhere.

    Time will tell.


  2. The thing that really started killing newspapers was Craigslist. Classified ads were a HUGE revenue stream for newspapers, because they were rarely discounted. A big advertiser buying one or two-page spreads in Section 1A could exert considerable pressure to lower their rates.

    But yeah print is a dying medium. Our section1A is down to like 6 pages, and the entire paper is smaller than just that sectin from years past, and as a yearly subscriber I’m very nearly paying cover price for the damned thing.

    So why? I feel it’s my gorram civic fucking duty to support local journanimalism, as dwindling as it has gotten.

    (Tucson used to have two competing daily papers, The Daily Star and the Citizen. now it’s the hollow shell of one, having been gobbled up by Gannett.

    We don’t even have a reporter dedicated to covering the Legislature; they buy that from a reporter based in Phoenix.

    But the paper itself? It’s now printed in Phoenix, since they shut down the publishing plant here. I will note that Tucson is usually derided as some small town in Arizonastan, but the metro population is over 1 million; it’s the 53rd largest metro area in the country, ahead of a lot of places.

    I repeat: We do not have a local reporter dedicated to covering our State Legislature, despite the fact that this has a huge impact on the city.)


    • Gannett ate EVERY newspaper in NE Wisconsin, and the “news.” except for local sports and obituaries, is entirely cut-and-paste from USA Today. I have lived in my present apartment for over 42 years, and gave up on my newspaper subscription when I got Cable Internet in about 1995 or so.


  3. beckymaenot says:

    FWIW- we subscribe to no commercials Hulu for streaming because I hate sitting through commercials. In fact- I rarely watch any TV that has commercials- it makes me crazy.


    • Bruce388 says:

      We used to go to parties (remember those) and if the conversation turned to commercial, we were lost. DVR the few network shows we watch and fast forward as needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. glitterbug says:

    I adblock them and have no problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lets all join Parler!


  6. Infidel753 says:

    Some are suggesting Twitters new model will have people pay to NOT see ads, which is just stupid. Twitter is an advertising platform.

    Unless enough people pay enough money for ad-free Twitter that it more than offsets the loss of ad revenue. Which is possible. Much of the internet is so ad-clogged that it’s become intolerable.


    • tengrain says:

      The ads in Twitter are pretty innocuous. They just float past as your timeline moves along.

      I don’t even recall the last time I saw one, honestly.




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