We will further secure our financial independence by sending David Roth into your home


Defector has ambitious and innovative goals for the third year, such as making more money so we can keep making more Defector Y reach more people with our work. To accomplish these goals, we will be sending David Roth, along with a life-size cutout of David Roth, to someone’s home.

Why are we doing this? Well, it’s simple. Over the course of this summer, our Growth Committee had several meetings dealing with the question of how to increase revenue in year 3 was discussed. We considered and finally decided not to increase our subscription prices.

For a subscription business like ours, higher prices tend to increase revenue by getting more revenue from existing subscribers, which more than offsets the costs in terms of lost new subscriber growth. As a group, we decided that the additional revenue we could capture through a price increase wasn’t worth it to slow the growth of new subscribers, reduce the reach of our journalism, and induce churn among existing subscribers who couldn’t afford the increase. .

At this final point, while we often joke that all commentators are lawyers (highly paid and boring), we know this isn’t true: Nearly 50 percent of respondents to a survey of former subscribers we conducted this year pointed to difficulties financial reasons as the main reason for canceling your subscription. We want to keep these subscribers in the fold; putting a price on them makes our community weaker and worse.

In general, price increases in a subscription business work when there is a gap between what customers are paying and what they are willing to pay (the “excess” value). Given our stated goals, an ideal strategy would be to capture some of the excess from our existing subscribers and convert it into additional reach without slowing growth or inducing additional churn.

So we come up with this plan: a one-time contribution campaign among existing subscribers, which will result in one of those subscribers having a 2D David Roth delivered to your home by a 3-D David Roth, in person. This is serious: Anyone who makes a contribution of at least $20 to our tip jarThat we use to subsidize subscriptions for students and people with financial need, between September 9, 2022 and October 31, 2022 will participate in a raffle. At the end of October, a winner will be chosen from this list of contributors. We’ll contact that winner to find out where he lives, and then we’ll buy David Roth a plane ticket, and then David Roth will pack a cardboard cutout of himself in a suitcase, and then he’ll fly to whatever city the winner lives in. , go to the winner’s house and deliver the cardboard cutout.

Although it might fail, we are excited about this idea and hope that it can become a repeatable alternative to general price increases.

The full legal jargon in the drawing is available here. The short version is:

  • Any contribution to the tip jar between September 9, 2022 and October 31, 2022 will qualify you for entry into the drawing. We are asking for a minimum contribution of $20. One person, one ticket.
  • You must live in the United States to qualify.
  • We will also count upgraded subscriptions (ie moving from Reader to Pal) as entries. Accomplices, we will throw them into the draw automatically.
  • Contributions can be made through this page.
  • We will work with our winner to schedule the delivery of their valuable heirloom.


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