Lessons From the Failure of Readability’s Author Payment Plan

Greg Cox:

Dash has repeatedly and correctly pointed out that Readability is not the only company to derive revenue from a read-it-later service. Competitors Instapaper and Pocket do much the same thing for their users. On the face of it Readability, which tried to compensate publishers, should be more popular with authors than competitors who make no attempt to do so. Right?

Wrong. It turns out that many authors care less about the money, and more about the fact that Readability is representing them without their consent. As a publisher, I understand this reaction and it isn’t entirely rational. Even if the financial outcomes were equivalent for Readability and Instapaper, and even if the user experiences they offered were identical, I would find it easier to accept Instapaper deriving direct benefit from someone buying their app than to accept Readability deriving benefit from collecting revenue on my behalf.


Thursday, 14 June 2012