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Subscription Model Updates

Announced Aug. 24, 2020 by Armin No Comments on Subscription Model Updates

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First, thank you to everyone that has subscribed so far. It gives us a very optimistic outlook!

Apart from the overwhelmingly positive reception of the shift to a subscription model, the 275+ comments on last week’s announcement were incredibly helpful in understanding how some of you use Brand New and the limitations in payment form, especially from our international readers. So… here is what have updated and what is still in the works.

1) I am skipping regular posts today, just like last Monday, so that we don’t steal attention away from the work posted and so that I can focus 100% on technical support and answering other questions. We will be back on a regular, full-week schedule next week (and with posts tomorrow). I appreciate your patience and understanding.

2) We are currently in the process of testing the ability for readers to see 5 articles a month without requiring a subscription and we are at the point where it needs to be tested live. As of this writing, current subscribers might be affected by this and after five articles you will be sent to the subscribe page. Please bear with us as we work through this.


We have completely reworked the subscription page to accommodate all the requests made. Most importantly…

1. PayPal

Anyone that can not or does not want to use a credit card can now subscribe via PayPal in your own currency in most cases — we have set up the most common currencies based on our analytics and based on what’s available on PayPal. This is only available as an annual subscription because the PayPal transaction and conversion fees would consume most of the $2 each month. Please note this is a 2-step subscription process. Read the instructions at the subscription page.

2. Teams

Teams can now make a single payment that covers a specific number of team members. After much deliberation on our end, we decided that bulk discounts are not available. The subscription price is already low enough and since 76% of our audience works for a company, that would be a huge percentage of team subscriptions at really low rates. Please note this is a 2-step subscription process. Read the instructions at the subscription page.

3. For those feeling generous

There are options to gift subscriptions to anyone you want, to increase your own monthly or annual subscription rate, and to make a one-time donation. On that last option: while we are not running a charity or non-profit, your donations help support our no-questions-asked policy to provide subscriptions to those that can’t afford one.

RSS Feed

The RSS feed, with full posts, will still be available to subscribers but you will need to use your own custom RSS Feed URL which you will be able to find in the account page once you have subscribed and logged-in. For the next day or two, the general RSS feed might still be open but we are currently working on closing that down.

UPDATED: Open Access

A recurring request in the comments was to have open access to a set limit of posts per month like The New York Times to allow the random 1-time visitors, for you to send a post to a client, and to allow new readers to discover Brand New. As noted in the opening of this post, we are actively working on that today. The limit will be 5 articles per 30 days — so, after 30 days, your counter will go back to 0. We might decrease the number of articles in 2021 — we will reassess in January.

Update (Aug. 24, 1:10pm): Thanks to new feedback on the solutions to the old feedback : ) we have been made aware of the many easy ways to circumvent our basic approach to allowing open access to 5 posts per month, including deleting cookies, going incognito, switching browsers, etc. All those can probably be solved but not immediately. So, for the time being — I am guessing 2 to 3 weeks — there will NOT be open access while we figure out the best approach to this, which means we are officially going into full paywall mode. Again, this is not the final decision and/or solution on this, but I want to stick to my deadline of going into subscription mode today. So, if your are not subscribed/logged-in you will definitely notice now.

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I think that’s it. I might update this post throughout the day. Again, many thanks to those that have subscribed and to everyone for your patience as we work on this in real time based on your feedback as well as the technical issues that have surfaced. Our goal is to have all of the kinks ironed out by the end of this week.


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