Paying for the Things We Value
Asking to get paid is both a lively experiment and also, duh, an assertion of value. Justin Wolfe is pegging his value at all of 7 cents per customer per month. You don’t have to pay him that. You can applaud or ignore from the sidelines. He just says that’s the current going rate for his labor. So what’s yours? — Choire
Today’s Awl newsletter has a very good discussion on putting a price tag on things we create that we believe have value. When should creators ask people to pay for the things they create? When should people pay for the things they value, but are used to getting for free? For example, I love free podcasts like This American Life and Radiolab, and I know plenty of people who do as well. There are a lot of people who put in a lot of time and energy to create these shows, and every year, the shows ask for listener contributions to help pay for things like bandwidth, which can cost the show many, many thousands of dollars. Every year I donate $25 to the show so I can support a thing I really love and value. Of course, I subscribe to many other podcasts as well, but don’t donate to every one of them—if I did, I would instantly go broke. That’s the choice we have, and you are free to exercise that option on your own terms. But if the thing you loved disappeared, and you could have kept it from disappearing by paying for it, why wouldn’t you pay for it?