I first read this story via Marco, you know, that Instagram and Magazine guy?
I have a lot less than 13 million readers and I find a way to pay people. natethayer.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/a-d…(More “exposure” BS.)
— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) March 5, 2013
Here’s a snippet of just one email from an editor at The Atlantic:
Thanks for responding. Maybe by the end of the week? 1,200 words? We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month.
After rejection, some clarification:
Some journalists use our platform as a way to gain more exposure for whatever professional goals they might have, but that’s not right for everyone and it’s of course perfectly reasonable to decline.
So, of course, this goes back to Marco in the end. David Chartier via Twitter:
— David Chartier (@chartier) March 5, 2013
The point: 13 million readers versus 25 thousand subscribers.
As my ethics professor would say, the devil is in the details here. The Atlantic has a magazine. You need to realize I spent more than forty five seconds looking up where to subscribe to that magazine. It took me forever — literally, anyone else would have given up if they were buying online through The Atlantic’s website. Marco might have some magical powers in this realm, indeed, I think he does. The Atlantic can’t push its magazine on its own website in a meaningful way. Marco’s push is an effortless purchase in the App Store and a semi-effortless purchase simply on his website. No one buys magazines and no one pays in bulk for things like that. It’s diluted material, where only at best fifteen percent meets its mark. That’s not enough. Marco’s audience is comprised of fans and hipsters, people with enough $2 chunks every month to keep it going and to pay the big bucks to be ethical gorgeous and practically possible.
(When you buy The Atlantic magazine online, you’re not even on theatlantic.com anymore, you’re off in “palmcoastd” land, whatever that is.) (That said, on The Magazine’s website, you’re on the
/subscribe page and then you’re whisked away knowingly to Stripe, so that’s fair enough.)