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This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2015-04-01 at 3:07 a.m.
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TidBITS Online to Bolster Membership Revenues

by Adam C. Engst

It’s no secret that technology publications are dropping like flies. Macworld’s print edition (coupled with massive staff layoffs), The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), and Gigaom have all disappeared in the last few months. Why? Display advertising just isn’t cutting it these days.

Here at TidBITS, we stabilized our business in 2011 by focusing on our paid TidBITS membership program [1] (thanks to the 2,800 of you who are helping us keep going!). But we’re always looking for new sources of revenue that will enable us to pay more writers, redesign our Web site, and keep the servers running.

To that end, we’re pleased to announce TidBITS Online, which mashes together modern technology (podcasting) with a proven business model (pay-per-call). That’s right, instead of messing around with the inscrutable interface of iTunes or with fussy podcasting clients, you’ll be able to hear TidBITS articles read to you just by calling a phone number. It works fine from iPhones and landlines, though we haven’t yet tested from an Android or Windows Phone smartphone.

For the next month, TidBITS Online will be available for everyone for free — give it a try at 4TIDBITS64 (484-324-8764, standard calling rates apply). Yes, I was jazzed to be able to get such a cool number.

Starting in May 2015, TidBITS members will receive a different number for free access and everyone else calling this one will pay $0.05 per minute to listen to TidBITS articles.

The other thing that will change once the free trial month ends is that only TidBITS members will be able to leave voicemail comments; until then, voicemail commenting is open to everyone. Let us know what you think after you call in for the first time!