Slate is putting most of its subscription revenue back into member programs.
In 2017, subscribers will get more exclusive content, those in big cities can attend members-only events and Slate Plus will roll out an online community for members.
“We have reached the scale where a pool of conscientious, invested Slate fans can be in conversation with the magazine and each other in a valuable and interesting way,” Roth said.
Slate Plus will also continue its outreach to increase membership. Many of Slate’s loyal readers find articles while scrolling their social media feeds.
“That’s a trap that I’ve fallen into in the past, thinking that Facebook [readers] and loyal [readers] are different buckets,” Roth said. “[With] an article that goes really big, by definition the lion’s share of those millions of people are not going to be Slate fans. But many of the people who read Slate again and again have liked Slate on Facebook or followed Slate on Twitter.”
When Slate Plus launched, the program had modest goals: serve loyal readers and break even. With thousands of new members, Slate Plus may set its sights higher as it brings more loyal readers into the fold.
“The program can do more than break even, and contribute to the well-being of the magazine,” Roth said.