New Vital, Longform Exclusive Features (That Aren’t Free)
Now presenting Stab Premium Features (with proceeds going straight to writers + photographers).
As the sun sets on our subscriber-based print product, we’re excited to roll out a new and improved digital experience on Stab.
We’ve been discussing the dilemma of a print publication for some time. Turns out shipping books around the world from Australia is cumbersome, expensive, and incredibly inefficient.
What if we could create that same premium experience with added extras that improve the digital medium experience without advertising or clutter?
Sure, you lose the scent of paper and glue, the joy of turning a tactile page… but what if you could hear the author reading their feature?
So, here we are launching Stab Premium: print-quality features that cost a few shekels to read (between 20c and $1 USD).
Is print dead? Not yet for us, but we’re not sticking to a print schedule. Rather, we’ll hothouse a magazine or launch a special issue with projects like Stab in the Dark.
Which segues kinda nicely into a very important fact: the old Stab digital doesn’t change.
There’ll be the same flow of stories you love and loathe from us—from the Stab Rich List to shoots with Sage and Steph and Imogen, exclusive interviews with hypebeasts like John John or Kelly — all free, as they always were.
Stab Premium is simply the kind of quality features we all looked forward to in print, long-form and evergreen pieces our contributors take a great deal of pride in.
And, we’re not expecting it will appeal to everyone. We realise many believe words and photos should remain free.
But, we feel change is coming.
Words and photos are created by people who need to keep the lights on. And with these features, the stable of world-class contributors we’ve gathered will see nearly all the proceeds.
In an age of noisy browsing, we believe a significant, loyal group still want quality.
Of course, nothing gets clicks like a surfer’s face being eaten by a crocodile, but is that the measure of our best work? Is that why we are here?
We all know that if it’s outrageous, it’s contagious. If it inflames our base instinct, then it will engage and enrage.
But is that why we’re doing this? For clicks?
We had over 30m views of The Dock last year. And it didn’t change our business one bit.
There wasn’t more money in the till. There wasn’t suddenly a new audience from middle America signing up to our database.
I know, I know, I can hear our commenters telling us that there’ll be less clicks, or that the clock is counting down to our ultimate demise.
Which we’ve heard from a long time. (“You cunts won’t last three issues!” they told us in 2004.)
Here’s what we know: We enjoy a fierce group of loyalists, and we want to deliver you the stories you want. We want you to surf alongside our talent on board tests, or dropping from a 50-metre floating bridge in the ocean. We want you at our parties. Just like we want you to enjoy Stab Premium and its pursuit of elevating storytelling.
It’s about being able to pay writers and photographers fairly for their work. The more a story is purchased, the more money these guys make (Full transparency: contributors take home 95 percent of the earnings after the small Stripe transaction fee).
A little bombshell before we go: These premium stories are only as good as the sources who share their honest and transparent selves with us. For which we are very grateful. For now, we’re testing Facebook comments to see what results we yield.
One more thing: we created the software, Quiet Corner, with some tech-savvy friends of ours.
And we’ve made it available to other media free of charge.
If you’re interested, just send us an email. [email protected]
We’re offering the first five stories in Premium for free. Take it for a spin. I would ask that you let us know what you think, but…
Click here for Stab Premium Features.
Sam McIntosh, Publisher.
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