Brand New moving to a subscription model

From 24th August, it’ll cost $2 per month or $20 per year to read Brand New and you can blame the pandemic for that.

brand new logo

I enjoy Brand New so I wasn’t sure how to take the news that they were shifting to a subscription model from 24th August.

After nearly 14 years of making Brand New free and open to everyone, the time has come to move into a paid subscription model. This was not a decision we took lightly and I will gladly expand on why we made it — in detail. This is a long post but I have added too-long-didn’t-read summaries at the end of each point. (The subscription cost and benefits are outlined at the end.)

The reasons behind it make total sense. The pandemic has cut off their most significant revenue streams and they need to find a way to gain some of it back. Subscription models are commonplace in online media now and this seems like a logical step. It’s also very cheap, whether you pay monthly or yearly.

Interestingly, there will still be an option for free access if you ask:

For anyone that can simply and honestly not afford* the subscription cost we will happily provide a free subscription. No questions asked. No reasons required. You tell us you can’t afford it, we will honor your request. Please note, this is not a blanket invitation to students — many of you can skip one Starbucks drink a month to afford two months of Brand New.

* “Afford” being key. “Not wanting to” is not a valid reason if you can afford it, whether you are a professional or student.

What is it with comparing monthly subscriptions to the cost of coffee? Oh yeah, everyone drinks coffee. Anyway, I could afford $2 a month but I’ll give it some more thought before I make my final decision in about 5 days.

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