Supporting Web Publishers With Scroll

Scroll is a new monetization platform for news sites and blogs alternative to advertising. The readers who pay a subscription to the platform can access the partner sites without ads. Scroll shares the revenue with publishers based on the visits they get.

Home page of Scroll
The home page of Scroll.

After a free trial and an introductory price of $2.49/month, the subscription will cost $4.99/month.

I stumbled upon the platform when Android Police announced joining Scroll as a partner. Android Police is my favorite Android tech news site for its great content and distinctive voice. I have been subscribing to Scroll for four months and, of the over 300 partner sites, Android Police is the only one I read regularly. My visits to other sites are a blip on the radar.

Fraction of my visits to Android Police vs other Scroll partner sites
The fraction of my visits to Android Police vs other Scroll partner sites.

And this is the problem with Scroll.

If I subscribe at the full price, I'll end up paying $60/year for a single publication, which would be too much for the value. I’m sure the content of the other partners is great, I’m just not interested in what they offer. I want to support journalism and creators. In fact, I've been hoping for Android Police to provide a similar paid ad removal option since forever. Also, I don't use ad blockers.

But paid digital content and cloud services such as cloud storage, mobile and web apps, media streaming, and more are switching to a subscription model. Although individual subscriptions have reasonable prices, including Scroll, they add up fast and there are only so many a user can afford. Especially in these days of reduced post-pandemic spending.

I'd be happy to subscribe if Scroll let me pay, say, $2-3/month for picking any 3-5 partner sites — or even just one or two. But the full price is out of my budget because of all the subscriptions I already have. When the introductory period ends, I’ll let my Scroll subscription lapse.

Another great tech site I pay for, Ars Technica, charges $25/year for the lowest tier. That's as much as I'd pay for Android Police alone. I hope they will consider a reasonably priced subscription option as an alternative to Scroll.

I sent my feedback to Scroll. But the company seems determined to go ahead with the full price and no cheaper plans.

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