One of the original longform content plays, Byliner is operating in an incredibly busy space (how you classify that space is tricky it does after all include gaming, video, books, articles, music and lots more), one is that is getting busier and more competitive all the time. Like everyone else in that space it faces the challenge of monitising (is there a better word?) its content base:
Byliner Weekly is a lovingly curated selection of the best stories from Byliner, collected around a theme. Each issue is crafted to be read in two hours or less, and includes exclusive or rarely seen stories by Byliner’s community of award-winning writers. Enjoy stories by bestselling authors Scott Turow, Carl Hiaasen, Mary Roach, Jon Krakauer, David Mamet, Jennifer Egan, Jane Smiley, Mary Karr, Jonathan Lethem, George Saunders, and many more.
Delivered in time for your weekend, Byliner Weekly presents the most surprising, delightful, and entertaining fiction and non-fiction. Read a story with your morning coffee, or cuddle up with the week\’s full collection in one fascinating afternoon.
This is a damn good way to do it, essentially a subscription weekly magazine which is small enough to not seem like a lot but at $52 is a fair whack for a curated selection of articles. Given that the site charges $5.99 for premium subscriptions giving full unlimited access to the full content set, the weekly subscription is a clever way to boost their margins and suggests that the company is conscious a) of the value in curation and b) that there are multiple types of consumers, many of whom would never subscribe to the whole site, but might well consider the weekly option, because it limits the reading needed to derive value!
Byliner also publishes a series of original ebooks, again at a significant premium to the site subscription though also available as part of that subscription, (which are also published as Kindle Singles, Apple, Nook and Kobo ebooks) some of which I have purchased and are well written and suit the form.
It’s a sensible strategy to create multiple channels for sales (and indeed for customer acquisition) from the same content. It’s something more traditional publishers might ponder. I know I am!