MacroBusiness is not going behind a pay wall

Just to reassure you, MB has no plans to go behind a pay wall. Next week will see some changes at the site that will give you an idea of our commercial model but concern yourselves not, MB will remain free. All the more so given the old guard are determined to commit suicide in a collective act not unlike the humble lemming.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. I’m sure MB has a readership that are privy to government documents. They should give MB sufficient details to make Freedom of Information lodgments cheaper on economic issues in Australia.

    That’s where MB can get unique content, hopefully increasing it’s readership (and advertising revenue) without putting up a paywall….

    MB should also consider the business model of, it allows readers to sponsor a story with donations without putting up a paywall..

  2. You could set up a super exclusive area of the site, maybe call it wikiMB…..and charge for that….

    where the MB team blogs on their their favourite restaurants, bars, economic textbooks, author’s etc etc…?

  3. Just to let you guys know, I will happily pay for a subscription, ala I still have a job.

      • well, I’m not saying they should put up a pay wall. I’m just saying, to me personally, the quality content they produce on MB are worth paying for.

    • Best just to click the banners on the top of the page, the guys at MB should get good income from just that.

      I tend to click about twice a day as a donation……

  4. Mining BoganMEMBER

    So far in this thread I have read ‘government documents’, ‘freedom of information’ and ‘WikiMB’.

    Next step is the entire team of MB nerds seeking political asylum in Ecuador.

  5. The whole News Ltd/Bus Spectator situation kind of reminds me of the time Microsoft tried to charge people for Hotmail storage space. Then Google came along with GMail and effectively unlimted storage and that was the end of that for Hotmail. Another example was Friends Reunited in the UK charging to reconnect with your schoolmates etc…, then Facebook came along and that was that too.

    If you are going to charge for something, then you need to ensure it is a bloody good service that is worth paying for and that you don’t leave youself vulnerable to someone else coming along and offering a similar or better service for free i.e. MB

    Would I pay for Bus Spec, SMH?? Not a chance. May as well take my money down the casino and blow it πŸ™‚

  6. MsSolarFelineAU

    I don’t mind paying for anything of quality!

    I don’t mind paying for access to a chat room.

  7. Perhaps a Macrobusiness seminar series or ‘college’. Not spruiking get rich quick rubbish, but informative seminars about economic issues.

    Otherwise, perhaps you could set up a business pairing investors with start-ups (I know these exist already, but MB could build on its good reputation).

    Have fun and good luck. Hope most of the content remains free indefinitely. Find a model that allows for that and for profits and you’ll be unique (or at least unusual).

  8. I have 2x male guinea pigs free to good home you would be welcome to spritz your G&T with once beyond the gaze of squeamish children too tired to look after said guinea pigs. Inner E Melbourne.

    Thanks for free ad opportunity. πŸ™‚

  9. PantoneMEMBER

    I don’t mind paying if it means I won’t get emailed ads. Do not like.

    Also, I think I was meant to recieve a shirt. But I forgot about it. Sorry. How can this be arranged?

    • …even wiser to have an ‘edit’ function for comments!

      …not in favour like/dislike. too lonely.

      • hah!

        Ask your Moriatry about comment widgets/schemes – I think the new Disqus is better but not sure. Will bow to the internet nerds on that one. Next upgrade I hope we can get edit function and maybe fix the nesting…

        One small step at a time – remember this is all freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….ish

        • My dogged attention to under-appreciation of the resources sector may occasionally infuriate, but I wouldn’t be here if this little show wasn’t going places.

          It is undeniable that MB is on the watch of every, and I do mean every, economic (and increasingly political) journo of any merit. And those not.

          That’s one helluva mantel for a new kid on the block.

        • Yeah not sure that HnH is over the last time i lobbied for the Discuss trial on MB all the bBomers freaked out – omg i have to register once and then have full editing! Sheesh. Anyhoo you MB chaps badly need a comments upgrade.

          As for paywalls meh.

          But I would pay a sub as long as i can claim it!!!


    • dumb_non_economist

      2d, aren’t you on a cost plus payment plan for working here? Otherwise claim it as a tax deduction.

  10. Open up to advertising, the paid per click type. I’m sure all here would be trigger happy to click you guys some passive income.

    YouTube yourselves, daily, not ametuerish, full on captivating, and host ads on that too. Link the vids here on a page linked within this website. Have segments and themes like, “MB on Location”, “MB Speaks To…”, “MB Tomorrow”, “MB Undercover”,…, Stuff like that.

    Change this webdesign too, try and monitise spare space. Get rid of this Login, or register, call it, “My MB Sign In”, “Register Today”.

    And that “Follow MacroBusiness” on the bottom right of this site. Ditch it! Put “Come on Board”, or “Your With Us At”, then have your Facebook, Twitter,… icon links.

    You guys will be raking it in, I swear, “Put Gina on Your Board!”. Sorry got a bit carried away there.

    Paywall…! Sack the numb-skull that thought of that.

    • @BotRot r u an emarketer in your spare time? I like the ideas … MB take note … except the Gina bit. Off to do some happy clicking …

      • No I’m not, I think the MB mob (The MoB, you just gave me another idea!) should transcend themselves to success. True talent and good work is held down by shyness. Time these guys matured a bit, a lot.

  11. The MB model is great – somehow manages to be bigger than its component parts. There is a sense of continuity and discussion – and not merely of polemics or publicity-hunting. This is a reflection on both the thoughtful editing and product creation processes, I reckon.

    I very much like the fact that MB is not only prepared to state its views on issues and but routinely supports these with data, analysis and reflection. This is different from “mainstream journalism”, but is nevertheless rooted in breaking news, information and dialogue. It also allows that readers have the capacity to do more than just “consume” a story or an opinion, but can think, research and interpret for themselves as well.

    Visiting MB is a high quality and – as far as I know – completely unique online experience.

    Because “the content” is now a fluid, variable and continuously updating series of “pieces”, visitors can check in, browse, add a post (or not), take a deeper look (or not), or skip in and out as it suits them. This is genuinely eclectic and non-prescriptive, and – because it is free – it is acceptable for the volume and pace to be quite variable from time to time or day to day.

    imo, this stimulates curiosity and creates space for interaction – qualities that are likely to attract a population of repeat readers/posters/viewers/contributors…or however it is that MB consumers should be classified.

    I also think that in an important sense, on this platform the “production process” is only completed when viewers/readers log onto a site and read the content. That is, production consists of more than just writing something and posting it on a site. In the online environment, production is a two- or three- or n-way process. Therefore, to maximise “production” and, it follows, to be highly efficient, it is necessary to maximise the concentration of readers and to ensure the flow of visitors is as frictionless as possible.

    If the number of readers can be maximised, then unit production costs can be minimised, and the basis exists for MB to be self-sustaining in a financial sense. High concentrations of informed readers are valuable and can be on-sold….as I’m sure everyone who visits MB is very well aware. This is a fine example of increasing returns to scale – something Henry Ford really came to know and love!

  12. Tom ConleyMEMBER

    I just deleted all my Business Spectator newsletters … very disappointing, although it never really provided an alternative to the MSM