Weetracker, a Kenya-based online news platform, owned by WeeMedia said it is commencing its subscription model.
A statement signed by its founder Rishabh Lawania, described the company’s version of the subscription model as SaaS which is translated Stories As A Service.
“Due to a big technical glitch, the subscription features of the platform went live on Friday (The original launch was planned on Saturday). Even before, we could notice it, we started getting notifications on our payment merchants (8 subscriptions in less than 5 hours people),” Lawania said.
Weetracker which began publication 18 months ago has published over 2000 stories, with over 100 exclusives and amassed millions of readerships.
The subscription approach is to help the platform and its journalists focused on its primary objective of a reader-first media platform, led by fierce and impartial journalism covering business, technology, startups and healthcare in Africa .
Lawania said its approach to news reporting has reached a point where Weetracker is not a good-to-have but a need-to-have.
“It’s not that we couldn’t make revenues or raise money (did both, and did well) and that’s why we’re taking the fashionable paywall approach. We just thought that making dollars out of brands via native content and ads is hindering the editorial potential and these revenue targets are overpowering our editorial ambitions,” he said.
Readers of the platform can get two plans, monthly and quarterly with $6 and $15 respectively. There is also an option of paying per article for $1.