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This is a really interesting piece from the inside, but I'm still not seeing the people ready to pay for it. The tumblr story was interesting, but I'll believe it is a living wage when I see it. And though Pando's most popular pieces are the longest, what makes up the majority of page views? And revenue? Long or short?
You have very small pockets, like The New Yorker, et al. but CPMs for even amazing sites are $2-3 in volume (not talking about the hot home page unit, but the deep stuff that makes up the majority of the views). Sure we want it - I pay for my subscriptions to the Economist, New Yorker, Atlantic and others, but mostly i do so out of a sense of charity more than anything. They're amazing journals, but I wouldn't have time to do anything else if I read them all cover to cover every week.
In other words, who is paying for this stuff in volume? Because there's no way to do that with the models (ads or subscriptions) beyond a select few today.
2 years ago on Suddenly everyone wants New Yorker style content. Only one catch: Who is going to write it?