Spirited Media 3.0: Introducing our first membership program

Today’s a big day for us — we’re asking our readers to directly support our local journalism by launching a membership program at Denverite, our newsroom in Colorado.


Support local journalism! Donate to Denverite today!

Why we’re doing this

We’ve always prided ourselves on being a reader-focused organization, ever since we launched Billy Penn in Philly way back in October 2014. We weren’t sure, in those days, just how our revenue mix would shake out. We hit on a winning formula shortly after launch centered around smartly produced events that would connect businesses and nonprofits to the young, passionate readership we were building.

Even though we supplemented our event sponsorship revenue with display and native advertising, we always knew advertising would be a minor revenue stream for us, since local sites like ours don’t provide the necessary scale.

Now, after three years of busting our asses and experimenting with different revenue sources, we’ve come to the conclusion that reader support is absolutely essential for our continued success. We’re not building a paywall — we believe in open access to our site and our journalism. Instead, we’re now asking for the support of our readers, starting with our membership launch on Denverite today.

As Denverite Editor Dave Burdick wrote to his readers today, “When you support Denverite’s journalism, we’re even more accountable to you, our readers. That’s exactly where we want to be, and it’s why we started Denverite in the first place. We get up every day excited to tell you what’s going on in Denver, to report, write and deliver news in ways that serve you best, and to directly involve you in the process when we can.”

We’ll also be launching membership on Billy Penn and The Incline this month.

We have big hopes for membership here at Spirited Media; we’re proud members of the News Revenue Hub, the Voice of San Diego spinoff that’s helping sustain journalism everywhere from Politifact to the Honolulu Civil Beat to The Intercept. Unlike those other storied teams, though, we are a for-profit operation. But really, in mission and in approach, we’re not all that different. We live in and love the cities we cover.

Thanks for the support you’ve given us so far. We’re excited to see how creating an even deeper bond with our audiences enhances our journalism and our business.

Jim Brady
CEO, Spirited Media

P.S. Tell your friends in Denver that we’ve got a killer morning newsletter! They might not know about us yet. And they should.