Readability, one of the original text-only reading tools, has changed its game. New formatting tools and future iOS apps, sure, but Readability is also charging a $US5-per-month minimum. That money goes to the authors and publishers you read most in no-ad format.
It’s one way of thinking to say it’s a pretty bold move — but, then again, most people weren’t paying for Readability’s main tool, so there’s not much to lose. To sell you on the idea of paying for a tool that has a notable range of free competition, Readability states that it is sending 70 per cent of all revenues to the “publishers and content creators in your list”. That’s right — they’re going to actually pay authors for writing works you enjoy, and which you read without advertising. The remaining 30 per cent goes to improving Readability.
Readability itself has improved its feature set, and its to-be-approved iOS apps are powered by field leader Instapaper. So if you’re buying into Readability, you’re making a conscious decision to send some money to web authors and publishers — at least $US5 per month, or more, if you’d like. It’s a bold idea, and not a terribly costly risk you’re taking if it doesn’t pan out long-term. Are you willing to dish out an expensive coffee’s worth of cash every month to try and encourage web writers?
The New Readability [Readability Blog]