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Publisher’s Note: PennyPass incoming

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 by Michael Kanin

I have a bit of news, but first I want to be sure that we’re all on the same page with regard to terminology and philosophy. The Austin Monitor employs a paymeter (stay with me here, it’ll be worth it) to control access to our stories. We do this because we need to pay our team and pure philanthropy won’t yet support the good work that our writers and editors do.

Put simply: Your subscription dollars keep us going, and, indeed, growing. The more dollars we raise, the more work we can do.

That out of the way, I’ll move along to my news. We’ve heard from you that – whether you need a story or two that aren’t included in your monthly subscription, or you are a non-subscribing reader looking to buy the occasional story – you’d like to be able to purchase individual stories. So our crack audience team – Cory Brown and Sunny Sone – has been looking for a quick way for us to allow you to purchase individual stories.

We’ve found one. It’s called PennyPass, and we believe that its designers are on to something pretty rad.

What does this mean for you? Well, initially, not much. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be testing a few pricing scenarios, but only for a select group of readers.

If you are one of the lucky few, please keep the following in mind:

  • If you are a subscriber, please log in like you normally would (via that Log In button at the top right). Otherwise, you’ll be prompted to use PennyPass, and that will mean that you’ll be charged twice.
  • If you are not a subscriber, keep reading. PennyPass will kick in once you’ve hit your fifth article – in other words, where our paymeter normally stops you. You’ll see it at the bottom left of your screen. If you’d like to participate in this test run (and we really hope you do), you’ll need to register with PennyPass.
  • I’ll say it again: This is all a test. Some things are bound to go weird. If that happens to you, please let me know.
  • Oh, and just in case you missed it: This is still all a test. That means that you may see different pricing options.

We’ll keep you posted on how all of this turns out. If you have any questions, concerns or you feel the need to fire off a missive, I can always be found here.


The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here.

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