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TidBITS Online to Bolster Membership Revenues

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 (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!


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Comments about TidBITS Online to Bolster Membership Revenues
(Comments are closed.)

Marcus Lynch  2015-04-01 04:35
Pity it's only a US number - TidBits has an international readership....
Chris  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2015-04-01 08:14
Call anyway - rates to the US are cheaper than ever, and this first issue isn't that long
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-01 10:23
If TidBITS Online is a success, we'll look into whether or not we can port the back-end technology to Skype for cheaper international calling.
Peter Sidell  2015-04-01 22:01
I am a paid member - but for me the phone service will be a complete non starter. I listen to a lot of podcasts which I stream over bluetooth. I have no interest in a dial up message reading service.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2015-04-02 09:09
Give the number a call and all will become clear! :-)