If you attended Subscription Site Summit, you got to hear David Chun speak about Equilar Atlas — a paid social network for CEOs and senior executives.But Chun is not alone, as more and more social networks and membership sites adopt a paid, country-club model. The latest is ASmallWorld, which positions itself as an “international community of culturally influential people.” The site is charging 85 a year for invitation-only memberships.Previously, the site tried to be free, but its growing number of members made it re-brand itself as a “trusted community” rather than an “elite social network.” By adopting a paid model, CEO Sabine Heller told Business Insider that the site could now verify its user base, a veritable sign that the company is trying to get back to its “elite” roots.Membership would include:
- Deals, discounts and exclusive access from hundreds of hotels, airlines, spas, fashion designers and other luxury businesses.
- Access to 50 exclusive events, parties, weekend getaways and concerts, organized by ASmallWorld.
- Nightlife concierge services
The site says it will be capping its membership off at 250,000, which means it should make 21.25 million a year if it meets its mark. While that’s an impressive sum, it’s unclear if the annual subscription of 85 (which seems low for an “elite” audience) will be able to sustain the site, unless the company makes events and other services an “upsell” offer.