Subscription Ideas That Will Probably Fail

We often feature ideas that are working in the subscription industry, but today I thought we could pause to consider two ideas that are

We often feature ideas that are working in the subscription industry, but today I thought we could pause to consider two ideas that are likely to fail.The first is the move from Merriam-Webster to implement a Freemium Model, making it possible for you to find a definition of “trilobite” but not “poaceae.” When you look up the latter, it takes you to a conversion page with a free 14-day offer and then a monthly subscription rate of $4.95 or an annual rate of $29.95. Pricing strategies aside, this is the very definition of a confusing paywall and a bad subscription offer since it is simply way too easy for Internet users to google the word they are looking to define. Dictionary definitions are not original content that deserve a paywall.Merriam-Webster might see more luck in becoming a SaaS by offering an app for your mobile phone with voice-recognition software, or even software that lets you define any word, even when working offline, and save definitions for future use. And as a writer, I would personally pay for a reverse dictionary that actually helped me find the succinct words I need for cumbersome expressions, like “an obsessive love of ducks” (anatidaephilia, if you were wondering).And for the politically-minded, Pete Hoekstra’s decision to charge people to see preview his Super Bowl ad got some comedic criticism before the Super Bowl. Technically, visitors got the privilege of viewing the ad after a $7.50+ donation, but it’s hard to understand how seeing someone promote themselves is a suitable way to thank donors to a political campaign. Almost anything else would be a better gift, even more so because the content of the ad seems pretty illogical and offensive, causing a bit of a national uproar. While recurring donations for a membership organization can work, you want to reward and thank your donors/members with more inspiring and compelling content, not an ad for yourself or your site.

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