Last day to take up pay wall special offer!

Dear readers,

MB has reached the next important phase in the evolution of its business model.

Readership has grown spectacularly to 60k unique readers per week. However, while reader numbers grow, the available advertising market has shrunk as more and more dollars have been captured by Google and large network buyers that have driven down publisher rates. The next step in MB growth is therefore to expand the membership base.

The proprietorial material that is produced at MB daily – which delivers insight into the pitfalls and opportunities of markets and the economy – will be restricted to paying members from July 1st 2014. The monthly special reports series will continue for members as well. Roughly two thirds of current site output will remain freely available in support of public policy change.

The membership fee for full access to the site will be $149 per annum. If you sign up before July 1, 2014, you’ll be entitled to a special “founding member” package of $99 for the first year, rising to $149 in the second, auto-renewed. The same deal will be available to current paying members as their renewal dates fall due over the next year.

If you prefer a manual renewal then a simple non-recurring $149 subscription is also available.

Take up the offer now so that:

  • as Australia enters a period of great change, you are equipped with the truth about the economy and markets and enjoy the benefits of a virtual private economist to help you prosper in challenging times.
  • Australia has a defense against a system of government, big business and media that is dominated by vested not national interests, and
  • you get in at the special price!

Join the mission to reform the Australian economy, to protect and grow your wealth and to give your business a planning edge.

Yours sincerely,

The MB Team

Click for the $99 special with auto-renewal at $149 for the second year!


Click for the non-recurring $149 annual subscription!


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


      • BakuninMEMBER

        I’m happy to pay for independent analysis but you scoffed when I suggested a couple of years back that it was only a matter of when that MB would become a user pays site.

        Just saying..:)

      • Hard work and enterprise demand remuneration.
        When you sell to Murdoch, be careful of the escrow agreement in these turbulent times.

      • “ scoffed when I suggested a couple of years back that it was only a matter of when that MB would become a user pays site.”

        That was a pre-election statement before MB understood the true state of the budget. 😉

      • dumb_non_economist

        do we get to vet potential buyers?

        Oh, mine has already renewed, does that mean it’s $99 on the next renewal? 🙂

      • No way on Earth I’d be prepared to PAY for the privilege of having my posts disappear into the ether because one of the moderators here thinks my views on global warming are “extreme”. 🙄

        Get a decent set of moderators, then we’ll talk.

      • I think also you should maybe have a special enrollment for students. There are plenty of grads and people who study economics and finance but their budgets are not as healthy these days, especially with Abortt 🙂

        $99 could be for people who can prove they are at a uni or something.

    • Strange Economics

      Should be able to sell the site for big dollars to a Real Estate website just so they can close it down as it might be scaring away punter buyers of the housing Ponzi.

    • Doesnt one of the newspapers (the age I think) let you read so many articles a month, then you have to pay, so the timewall seems a good idea,

  1. I’m always happy to pay for quality content. Shame there is not more of it around. Good luck to MB in building a sustainable membership base. It’d be terrible to lose you guys.

    • DodgydamoMEMBER

      I’m holding out for the membership deal which includes Pascoemeter T-shirt. Weeooo Weeooo!!

  2. I would not have a problem if MB was all proprietary analysis/views/content.

    But charging $149 to read “cross posted” stuff is a bit rich.

    The value is in the comments anyway.

    • “The proprietorial material that is produced at MB daily – which delivers insight into the pitfalls and opportunities of markets and the economy – will be restricted to paying members from July 1st 2014. The monthly special reports series will continue for members as well. ”

      That you have to pay for.

      “Roughly two thirds of current site output will remain freely available in support of public policy change.”

      That remains free. That is the cross posted content.

  3. Well done chaps. It was great value to support you last year and it continues to be so this year. News lacks the essential background information to make sense of actual events. Your in-depth analysis and op-ed pieces are of a high quality and you deserve to be well paid for them. They already add a huge amount of value for me and have helped me to adapt better to the changing economic outlook in Australia.

  4. $149 is fine – it’s less then 50 cents per day, which I see as good value.

    And, the cross-posting is fine – it saves me trawling, and keeps me more informed…I just wouldn’t do it otherwise!


  5. I visit this site every day, and I’m happy to pay the equivalent of a cup of coffee each week for the insights it provides.

    Good luck guys.

  6. All good here.

    The proposal appears to get the balance right.

    Maintaining the site as an important open public forum for discussion of issues critical to the country but providing a bit more incentive for more people to contribute to the platform.

    The cross posting is one of the strengths of the model IMHO and one of the strengths of the blogosphere generally.

    The mainstream media are still obsessed with creating the illusion they are the font of all knowledge and refuse to acknowledge the specific debate that is going on.

    Both the full cross post – cross posts with little or minor comment – and the partial cross posts with comment.

    And of course the full original content is excellent.

    No surprise that I think the comments threads under the articles is one of the biggest attractions of MB.

    Having said that a couple of friends recently have told me that they think the signal to noise ratio has decreased.

    The only suggestion I would make is that the comments policy be expanded slightly – perhaps along the lines of naked capitalism.

    A bit more gentle guidance to the commenters – might help keep the comments one of the big value adds of MB.

    Most of the time self moderation is all that is required.

    Having moderators wasting time reminding people about the difference between constructive debate and going over the top is something to be avoided.

    I would much rather that expense be directed to reimbursing the contributors for their work.

  7. Perhaps I’m wrong but my assumption was the MB business model was more than a bit about prop trading with many articles that support individual’s positions? If that’s the case you usually want to maximize your audience, and discussions and comments certainly also can be much more useful.

    Suggestion: rather than keep content walled off entirely, why don’t you offer it early to paying subscribers, hours later, or even next day to the hoi poloi, non-payers. From my point of view would be more valuable like this, than if it was only ever available to an exclusive club.

    • That is an interesting idea – a timed wall on some content.

      Members only for say 24-48 hours and then the locks come off.

      Most people are not that interested in reading a 2 day old paper but being able to see what they could have read fresh off the press had they signed up might be a good way of attracting memberships.

      Plus those who cannot afford a membership or are just careful with their pennies can still access the restricted content (albeit with a delay).

      • I understand your point HnH and I am happy to jump on board but, perhaps a longer delay (2 weeks to 1 month) may be good just in terms of getting eyeballs on your top shelf stuff and encouraging more traffic/membership. I have put a lot of people on to this website over the last 12 months alone but, will you continue to get the growth in new traffic and membership if a lot of the quality content is not available for them to view at all? It is a fine balancing act.

    • Im not trading equities whilst blogging full time here, i.e. last week and this week, but I’m still trading FX and futures (but no chance whatsoever of moving those markets).

      Good idea on the “time-wall” – gives non-members a good preview of what they’re getting too I guess.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      I have been a paid member since that option came out and will continue to subscribe whilst you maintain the quality.

      I don’t mind paying as quality usually costs – you guys put a lot of time and money into this.

      I also think Dexterbland’s “Timed Paywall” suggestion is outstanding and should be seriously considered.

      It actually solves a lot of issues and will also allow those who are thinking of paying for immediate access to “See what they are missing” and assess the value. It is, in short, a great selling point and likely to result in more folks subscribing, not less.

      Not only do other sites not offer this (they tend to be all or nothing), but it allows you to retain and promote your value proposition to the subscribers, without pissing off those who are unwilling or unable to pay.

      Great Idea. Give it a trial at least.

      • Actually plenty of sites do metered paywalls either days, # pages or some other metric.

        Tinypass does EXACTLY this (I use it).

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        True enough, but I only know of sites that offer X number of views and/or x number of days then they lock you out (unless you can be sneaky – some sites are better than others at blocking unpaid access).

        I don’t know of any sites that will let you view premium content after “Y” days / hours / weeks have passed regardless of your earlier viewing frequency.

        I find this 2nd approach much more appealing, user friendly and useful than the current offering from simlar media based organisations.

        Still think it would be well worth a trial for the MB Admins to see if it can drive subscriptions. Running this sort of operation (and making some coin to live off of as well) is complicated (cost vs eyballs vs quality et al) so a hybrid offering might just be the best option.

  8. What about those of us that signed up around christmas time last year? My membership still has 6 months to run. Does that mean I don’t have to renew until December and then it is at new rate of $149? Just checking. $149 is still a bargain, especially if I can sneak a way to make it tax deductible…haha

    • especially if I can sneak a way to make it tax deductible…haha

      Why sneak? It helps you increase your knowledge in regards to investments right? I think it is a legitimate deduction 🙂

      • dumb_non_economist

        well, I claimed it last FY and the accountant didn’t blink an eye lid. Used Greg’s comments about the aud to move into usd @ 1.05. 🙂

        As far as I know if you’re using it for info to make financial decisions it should be legitimately deductible.

        It’s reasonable cheap and vested interest bias free with good links from around the world with good cross posts, and in addition some bloody excellent “commentators”.

  9. Can you guys fix performance on iPhone, iPad and Android (where its unusable for me). Then I might consider it more seriously.

    • I get the feeling that the popularity of the site over the last few months is putting the site under a lot more load. It was fine after the last server upgrade but lately it seems to be struggling.

      Perhaps there have been some DOS attacks as every so often I get this “You have been blocked” screen pop up.

    • DodgydamoMEMBER

      I found MB unreadable on my old POS android phone until I turned the ‘default to mobile web pages’ setting off.

  10. I know that content providers need rest too, but any chance of continuation of the service through the usual Xmas / Jan MB-lite period?

  11. Locus of ControlMEMBER

    I don’t mind paying, but I do object to the “auto-renewal” the following year. I like to pay on a year-by-year basis as I regularly assess the value of my subscriptions and consider whether it’s worth signing up the following year. Can you guys please not go ahead with the proposed “auto-renewal” if you want to get cash out of me. Thanks.

    • I tries that last year! Cancelled the auto-renew after a week or so, just so I didn’t miss the opportunity to renew at my choice. What happened? I lost access to Premium Content for the rest of the year! So maybe that will have to be considered with your request.

      • You subscribed for a year, turned off auto renew because you wanted 1 year of content and as soon as you turned off auto renew your subscription no longer worked? Is that how I read your comment Janet? That seems like a bug in the system they would have fixed.

        Auto-renew should be opt-in anyway!

      • Auto-renewal will be staying. It’s by far the most efficient for a small operation.

        If you opt out, it cuts you off. Your subscription details are clearly marked in the right hand column and you’re responsible of cutting it off on the final day if you don’t want to renew.

        That’s hardly a dirty trick. All print subs operate this way.

      • “That’s hardly a dirty trick. All print subs operate this way.”

        I won’t comment on whether it’s a dirty trick or not, but I can tell you that it’s not the way most of the websites that I subscribe to work.

        It’s also not how my newspaper subscriptions work either.

        The websites and newspapers may default to auto-renew but you can turn that off without actually cancelling your subscription.

        Does MB send out an email reminder in advance of auto-renewal? I haven’t subscribed to any website that doesn’t do that (and I wouldn’t).

      • Strange Economics

        It should be opt in.
        Easy enough to renew every year, and discount for 2.
        Plenty of media sites allow a 1 year membership.

        The entire argument in the FOFA debate in Superannuation is to introduce the Principal of Opt In and renewal.

      • I agree with everyone below.
        Auto renew should be opt in and if someone opts in, at a lower rate.
        And if they turn auto renew off, they should not be locked out

        Suggest Stripe or Braintree payments for this. or even Tinypass with free # of previews.


      • You guys are being offered $50 off as a deal that includes auto-renewal yet you want to opt out on the second half of the deal where the price rises.

        Shall I setup an option for you to pay $149 now with no auto-renewal?

      • David I think that would be a reasonable way to run the full price regular subscriptions, so that the Janet experience above doesn’t happen with a full price regular subscription.

        I really like your site and your content and after a 12 month subscription I’m sure many people will tick an auto renew option.

      • HnH – Dogbert I think is correct. You have on obligation to deliver the requisite ‘product’ over the 12 month period. A customer indicating to you their intention NOT to renew the contract prior to expiry should not invalidate the delivery of the product.

        You may wish to consider seeking legal advice on this if you choose to go down this route. Irrespective, you are opening yourself up to a multitude of complaints which I suspect isn’t worth your time…

        EDIT: Ooops. Should have hit refresh. I see this matter has already been settled. Apologies.

        2ND EDIT: Actually, on further reflection, there may be a legal basis for not delivering the remainder of the product (so long as it is abundantly clear that this will happen). ANZ bank adopts something similar with its ‘Progress Saver’ accounts. Interest is only credited once per month. So if you happen to close the account anytime prior to that date – tough luck, you forego the accumulated interest.

      • Thanks for the excellent info over the years guys, but the new business model is not for me.

        Cheers, SB

  12. Im guessing you might finally stop sledging Business Spectator as “now locked BS”.

    It seems a bit rich that you have been slagging BS all this time when you intended to implement a similar model to them.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I offered a year ago when I signed up to help set one up gratis, that ship has sailed 😉

        EDIT: From memory the subscription fee was equivalent to something like 3BTC or so, or around AUD2100 today. LOL.

      • I know that’s tongue-in-check but at least some payment processors allow you to accept Bitcoin.

        It’s process in the same manner as any other payment method and then automatically exchanged in to your preferred currency.

        It’s actually then a very simple way for people to pay (assuming they hold Bitcoins of course).

      • migtronixMEMBER

        So you’d preferred electronic representations of plastic bearers notes with dubious collateral backing? Oh…Wai…

      • Bitcoin, Paypal, Visa, whatever works. Its all funny money to me.

        But for mind, I’ll write anything if you pay in Nutella – the one true commodity currency!

        I’ll also accept Drambuie.

      • You should start your own site Chris Becker, if you don’t already have one?. Many traders I speak to are loving the great variety and angles of your commentary and analysis.

      • thanks

        i have/had one, but find it too hard to maintain – I prefer less noise and interruption in my trading

        in fact I cant see myself blog and trade at the same time, although I’m plugged in a bit more here, I find it too stressful on my thinking process

        i prefer calm, serenity and Daft Punk blaring across my office 16 hours a day.

        Mind you that might be the Drambuie talking.

    • Mig, I’d be interested in talking re: a Stripe or Braintree integration for one of my projects, actually two. Want to drop me an email? via

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Strictly speaking none, the BTC/LTC “positions” I have came from transactions, either as payments in or overflow from consumption, never did/have I consciously thought about “saving” in bitcoin, I still prefer gold/silver for that. Anything else I don’t regard as saving but working capital or debt.

        Having said all that the current nominal market value of BTC/LTC/DRK I have exceeds the other put together.

  13. Hey MB, was thinking about becoming a member so this just tipped me over! Not keen on the auto renew though, can you opt out of this function? What will this mean for advertising on the site too?

  14. Jonny G Banger

    one of the reasons i joined MB 3-4 yrs ago was to get a better feel of what was happening and apply that knowledge to make a few bucks. Back then there was a broad array or regular contributors, each with a different area of expertise. This gave you a really good feel what was happening and and some really practical applications of that information. Over time the amount of contributors has significantly decreased especially from a technical and ASX focussed perspective.
    Don’t get me wrong the work that HnH does is good quality but the recent contributions by Chris Becker has been really useful and has been a welcome addition to the global macro view.
    The $149 is really not an issue, but for me if i am going to pay i would like to see some info thats a little more specific on how we can capitalise on the macro issues at hand

    I appreciate the amount of work that you put in HnH, hopefully if we are paying you can get a little more support

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      Yep, this is a good point. I get you guys are constrained (time and money) so finding the correct mix of voices vs income is complicated.

      In the early days it Macro Business was really the pooling of a whole stack of individual blogs into a single point. Now it is a lot more serious and not a hobby on the side.

      Even so, I miss the broader range of opinions as well.

      And watch the comments. They still add good value, but the signal to noise ratio (as pointed out by an poster above) has increased somewhat.

    • Some valid points here. I too have been following MB since launch, subscribing since paying subscriptions were made an option, and agree that the loss of regular in-depth contributions on a broader range of topics (eg, Deus Forex Machina on currencies / FX, Chris on equities etc) is lamentable, if understandable for financial reasons.

      Not to detract in any way from the excellence of HnH and UE’s work — the fee is still great value, methinks — but I tend to feel that with the loss of DFM / Chris’s regular contributions, MB has perhaps narrowed its appeal in one sense, while filling the vacant space with a little too much of the “political” in another sense.

      Just my 2c. No offense intended.

      FWIW, if given a choice, I’d rather see even more technical and analytic content (per HnH, UE), but on the previous broader array of topics, and perhaps less of, for example, the (usually) inane “The Conversation” cross-posts, and so allow the readers to draw the political conclusions that necessarily arise out of the evidential for ourselves (in doubtless heated Comment field debates!). Better for clicks / ad revenues too, I’m guessing 😉

      Maybe you could get the previous regular contributors back for weekly, or twice-weekly posts, as a small step in that direction? I know I’d value them all the more, for knowing that they are limited.

  15. Any word on student pricing :p ? Although it would be hard to police.

    I used articles from this site to support some arguments for a peice at university and got really good marks. Students in the same class had trouble finding anything that remotely describes the current economic situation in Australia.

      • if fee help/hecs is the only thing I get, then I’m going to take it.

        I was doing some research on the company I have an interview with on Thursday, ex display houses prices are are just shy of half million.


  16. Avid reader and also a subscriber, but I have a couple of questions.

    1. In the past couple of months I’ve been unable to access the locked content. Have sent 2 emails via the “contact” link querying this (as I’m sure my subscription is still current), but no response as yet and can’t see if there’s any way of checking my own account details. Would appreciate a response. Or if there’s some way of checking my account status, please advise.

    2. Assuming issue no.1 can be fixed, how does this work for existing subscribers? Are you saying that we will get our next year for $99 when our existing membership fee expires and then $149 for the following year? If so, great.

    3. Do we current subscribers need to do anything or is it just an auto-renew? Personally, I’d prefer an auto-renew and have no issue with this.


  17. Couple of questions:

    What do you define as “proprietorial material”?

    Will comments remain freely visible under “proprietorial material” blogs?

    Has this model proved successful (financially) for Business Spectator?

  18. Cost IndexMEMBER


    1) So my membership runs out mid July. To take advantage of this offer one needs to sign up to this before 1st July. Will my deduction mid-July be $99 or $149?

    2) I’ve sent a few emails asking questions and yet I get no response. I can appreciate you’re busy, but as a paying member I’d appreciate a slightly more prompt reply. My main questions are below:

    3) Are we getting the forums back?

    4) How do we contact other members discretely?

    5) How do we post pictures and other smilies etc?

    Keep up the good work

  19. Just like what housing affordability needs maybe what MB needs is a depression. That way you’ll be undeniably right and more people will want to pay attention to your analysis and political advice.

  20. alwaysanonMEMBER

    I just signed up. Compared to a subscription to something like the Economist it is much better value and I find it more useful in staying up to date on a day to day basis.

  21. StomperMEMBER

    Joe Hockey says just give up a smoke and a beer!!!

    For me it’s money well spent – best financial source of information on the web – puts the MSM to shame.

    Keep up the good work and fighting the good fight.

  22. I am a proud supporter of MacroBusiness having paid now for 2 years.. I only have one issue in that the auto member renewal gives no prior notice or even an option should (heaven forbid) I perhaps not need/desire to renew. Given that I pay, I would like to ask for some more thought to this please. Thanks

  23. My 2c
    1. $149 is fine for me a it’s true this is a good aggregator of information from sites at time I don’t visit and/ or may not have a subscription too.
    2. Value in comments. Again true but the repeated slagging of other commentators by each other is really annoying. Call a troll, a troll but do it respectfully and don’t engage in a contest. Totally defeats the purpose of point 1 having to wade through personal (vs professional) slagging contests.
    3. Delay access for non subscribers? Makes sense but maybe 4-8 hours otherwise you may damage your hit count which will effect your ability to sell advertising etc and keep the site going. It may also slow new user/subscriber aggregation. (need to make an impression first visit or they won’t come back. Old news doesn’t do this.

    Anyhow, thanks for the hard work so far.

    • I stopped reading BizSpec entirely when I couldn’t even register for comments. I think that is short sighted.
      You’re essentially talking about a freemium model where the 20% of paying subs carry the 80% non payers but are responsible for 80%+ of revenue (ads notwithstanding).

      So, a silly idea.

  24. Thanks for the analysis and entertainment over the past few years.

    I hope that some of my comments have been interesting or useful for at least some of the readers.

    I wish you well with the new business model and hope it goes well for you.

    I’ll continue to visit the free part occasionally, but will be much less involved than previously.

    Best wishes to all (particularly those with whom I may have disagreed from time to time).


  25. I really thought the initial model that developed in the early days was excellent with a mix of macro and investing information, including trading advice and portfolio/risk advice.

    It was a truly useful product and a genuine one-off in the retail market. The mystifying failure of people to realise the value in what was offered in that model has been part of my journey to realise that the retail market is a waste of time and the pathetic geared retail investors sucking up the banal advice and fees and risk from the big banks and investment houses deserve what they get. There is only one product that sells to retail investors and it is made of pure marketing.

    What is funny is that even now that MB provides more of just a macro product i still see so many SMEs that would benefit from reading this stuff, they are just making stupid decisions based on a false understanding of the global economy and the history of the epic ToT boom, and still just sucking up half-truths and outright lies from the FIRE industry.

    NB I second comments that don’t want an automatic subscription. I don’t let any organisations take annuity fees it always gets stuffed up and it never seems to be in my favour.

  26. I agree with some of the other commentators, re the content. A few years ago there was a wide variety of content and contributors. I loved how it brought together a whole heap of other blogs from likeminded people to a single place. This included individual stock & industry write-ups. These days the content is much more limited and every second article is about the Australian housing bubble. For $99 I’ll still pay the subscription, but I’d like to see a return to more varied content.

    Additionally, I am a subscriber to The Intelligent Investor (share tips) as well as Sharesight (portfolio management). Now i know you guys are kind of affiliated with II, as sometimes I see crossposts there, but it would be great if you worked together to provide discounting for subscribing to multiple services. It could help all of your brands grow your numbers and attract members that otherwise may not join.

  27. Here’s to subscriber success.

    My 2c

    Agree with comments above re diminution of diversity. Bringing DE back for an occasional no holds barred look at the Oz economy in the global context would be welcome.

    Housing focus probably appeals as much to me as IO posts appeal to the housing fraternity.

    Generally The Conversation cross-posts add little, particularly those of a political/social science bent. Long on rhetoric short on fact.

    An acerbic satirical take on the week (aka Spleenbatt) has some potential.

    I enjoy the political narrative but would urge balance (the comments alone tend to drive to the left). Climate change leaves me cold 😉

    All in all MB has established itself as a go-to site for many and particularly those in media. Will always be a challenge to stay ahead or differentiate from the pack – evidenced by the media’s emulation of much of MBs work. How does MB continue to offer distinction from the rest?

    Pretty sure you’ll figure how to continue to do so.

  28. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Worth every tax-deductible cent.

    Crawling time. The years I’ve spent reading these dudes, both before Macrobusiness and now, has helped me immeasurably. I’m in a far better financial state than I would have been otherwise. Plus, the information I’ve picked up here has helped me nail a job interview I just had.

    By the way, my fellow bogans say that your site is quite in-depth but too gloomy for them. They need Pizaaz!

  29. No problem with the price but I think you might need to broaden the content.
    I’ve noticed a lot of Engineers (real and financial) frequent this site, so it might be worth it to have a technical focus section.

    Even wrt to housing and mining (two sectors that are often talked about) it is hard to find reliable detailed cost breakdown information, I realize this sort of information leaves most readers cold but understanding costs is the life blood of “informed” geek analysis. Could be a real differentiated product for MB, something like a spreadsheet for residential construction (housing and apartments) with reasonable cost estimating would settle a bunch of wordy arguments very quickly.

  30. From $99 to $149 in 1 year…… that is price inflation of 50% a year……

    Is this an indication of the lower dollar to come? Are we headed for Banana Republic?

  31. keen on paid rego, but need clarification on exactly what entails ‘proprietorial material’.

    I’m normally on MB for updates on the property market (mostly bubble in MB’s context), comments on RPdata releases and what I reckon is cross posted content (e.g. issues affecting the local economy, state/fed budgets, RBA rate movements etc) just to watch the commentary, and I rarely ever look up global articles apart from the ones that impact the AUD. I don’t trade and won’t ever use MB for investment advice. Can someone enlighten me on whether a paid subscription would be of any benefit to me? Will I be locked out of my daily feed of the aforementioned items should I choose to be a free subscriber?

  32. Like McPaddy above, I am daily reader and I thought current subscriber, but unable to access
    Premium Content and no membership status on sidebar, no answer to email sent to “Contact”
    Sick of pop-ups asking me to sign up when I already am.
    Happy with autorenew IF I can see my status and how many days to run !

  33. Will paying members still be subjected to all the ads?

    What do you define as “proprietorial material”?

    Will comments remain freely visible under “proprietorial material” blogs?

    Has this model proved successful (financially) for Business Spectator?

  34. Hunson Abadeer

    I’m not sure if I’m the only one who experiences this but I find it hard to stay logged in on MB, which could be more of an issue once we move to a pay wall.

    This is in contrast to say Facebook, which hasn’t asked me to log in for years.

    It’s certainly not a deal breaker, just thought I would bring it up in case it’s an easy adjustment to make. I’m not a tech expert, so I have no idea what drives the different lengths of time websites remain logged in for.

  35. Hnh, still waiting for you to contact me. Can’t seem to access members’ content nor check my account status.

  36. Should make it free for people with uni/high school emails because we can’t afford to pay for newspapers.. But probably will when we graduate. Oh well.

  37. Already paid member and will be in the future. Bring back DE and Chris(nice too see you around) and that will complete the picture for me.

  38. Michael Castaldo

    Wow I can’t believe people would pay $150 per year to read MB’s daily pessimism. Guess what tomorrow’s story will be? Capex Cliff, Australia Impending Recession, Housing Collapse Coming Soon or Australia, Uncompetitive in the Modern World??? MB you just don’t get the reality of Australia for its our optimism that shaped Australia and its our optimism that allows us to continue to be a great country.

  39. With only 10 days to go, how about each time you post, put either “Member” or “Free” next to the article title so we know what will be a piece for members and what will be free going forward?

  40. How will the change over work for those like me who are paying the $11 monthly fee? Cheers.

  41. Another suggestion: Monthly subscription, with opt-out auto-renew. Helps alleviate the “sting” of upfront payment.

    And, auto-renew means that your small business does not need to spend as much tie handling invoices, etc…..yuck….

    Oh, and to the auto-renew haters out there – some of you points of valid, but at the end of the day: try running a high-volume, low-value small business like this one with out auto functions AND still try to get anything else done….

    Auto-renew is a compromised feature I am happy to wear if I am give explicit knowledge of it, and I know when it is going to “hit” – which MB does on both issues 🙂


    • “but at the end of the day: try running a high-volume, low-value small business like this one with out auto functions AND still try to get anything else done….”

      A business doesnt have to handle this, its all automatic anyway now, its the end user that does the work, hook it up to paypal, and name your price. The subscriber logs in, pays via paypal/credit card and hits the send button. I have ran small businesses for 15 years doing just this and have yet to have problems, occasionally you have to sort out problems, but would need to do that anyway. You can even download the invoice info as a csv and import it into your accounts software.

  42. HnH, congrats on getting yourself to a point where you can charge reasonable coin, I think that’s fantastic.

    Will paying customers be subjected to advertising?

  43. Did you guys see what Terry Mccrann wrote about you?

    Which brings me back to the graph, reproduced from Macrobusiness, along with the comments from the blog’s David Llewellyn-Smith, who was clearly torn between his lying eyes and his pompous disdain for The Australian.

    You don’t have to have any particular knowledge of statistics to pick up the clearest signal from the graph. That over the course of 2013 — after plain packaging, the spend on smokes arguably rose and at worst went sideways. This interrupted an equally unambiguous downward trend in the spend. That trend either resumed this year, or because of the big excise thumping.

    Llewellyn-Smith sort of gets this, that it’s the tax, stupid; but just can’t resist backing, well, the stupid, over the hated Australian.

  44. I’m seeing your mobile version theme on my desktop.

    And your desktop theme on my mobile with no theme switcher in the footer.


  45. Free_Market_Delusion

    I have really enjoyed this site overall.

    My only criticism was the lack of contributors of recent times.

    A bit more variety is coming back in so thats good thing.

    I use this site because of my genuine interest in economics and the very poor reporting of economics in MSM.

    The information provided here is very interesting but of no direct value to me (Except entertaining my intellectual curiosity) . I don’t have any investments and actually have zero interest in investing.

    I will also add that I very much enjoy the comments made by everyone, even if I don’t agree with them.

    However I can’t justify paying, my curiosity is simple not that high, I can live without it and there are numerous free services out there I can access that will satisfy my curiosity.

    Wish the MB team all the best with your new endeavour.

    • I am feeling the same. I follow MB from the beginning. Lately I just scan the titles, because I already don’t expect anything new, which is sad in some way. They had great potential, but as a maturing business, they lost their edge. Maybe because there are more critical voices out there now than couple of years ago, the standing out of the boring crowd of the mass media is getting ever more difficult.

      However, MB is still my preferred reading, because I share their frustration with the government bad policies.

      • If we lost an edge it’s because we’ve been right and the world has shunted forward around us. You can’t be radical all of the time if it’s no the truth. But I’ll guarantee you;ll know about the next big thing here before you get it elsewhere.

  46. Crowdfunding start up

    What will Nanotransactions do?

    Save high-quality journalism. There’s very little money in the industry to pay for it because existing funding models don’t work. That’s why we’re flooded with ‘clickbait’ headlines and articles like, ‘You won’t believe these ten reasons…’ We have top-quality writers wanting to use Nanotransactions today because nobody – not even top publishers – can afford to pay them!
    Allows publishers and blogging communities to charge just a couple of cents/pence for content – the Nanotransactions fee is as little as one cent per transaction! (Receiving normal credit card-based or PayPal micropayments costs over 30c per transaction.)

  47. MB – should the contribution be optional or reduced for those with health care cards or full-time students?

  48. I recommend Linkedin, Bookface, & Twatter buttons be added to the freely available content so that MB obtains greater coverage and readership in online media.

    It would also provide exposure to those who would not normally see some of the content and perhaps ween them of the click hunting MSM vomit that is all to common place.

  49. Really enjoyed reading your website. However I have a mortgage and three kids so I can’t afford the subscription. Shame.

  50. I’m not a trader, nor can I afford any such thing in my current circumstances.

    I have found HH & UE the most frequent contributors of late and the economic commentary has returned to a more orthodox view of the world diluted by their political positions.

    I would like to thank MB for their wild ride & alternative news sources on these issues.

    I wish you success.

    • “the economic commentary has returned to a more orthodox view of the world diluted by their political positions” +1

      MB seems to be getting more and more politicised. When I asked UE about the coverage of a subject the other day, the answer he gave implied the article was written to shape policy, rather than independent and impartial analysis. Maybe that’s just how it’s always been here and I missed it…

      • Rubbish, BB. Nothing in the coverage has altered. Give us evidence.

        Senexx, the only political position at this blog is the national interest. None of that has changed. Neither has the frame of reference for policy or economics. Your presumption to even know mine or Leith’s politics is enough. Look to your own bias.

      • HnH it would be near impossible to show political creep compared with the early MB days. So MB has always been more interested in writing articles to shape government policy, not independent and impartial economic analysis? My mistake.

      • A recent example (have been others) was the difference in treatment between the topics of taxi/land industry versus childcare. When I questioned the double standard: supply-side reform/deregulation not a discussion point in the childcare articles and support for government handouts (“channeling some of this funding into childcare, is a no brainer from both a policy and budgetary perspective”) I was given the response: “It’s called political economy. Govt has announced PPL and won’t abandon it unless it can produce an alternative.” which suggested the article was an attempt to influence policy without being completely objective.

        Perhaps the political creep is just a reflection of fewer bloggers, many of those who have moved on seemed apolitical.

      • If that’s the best you’ve got then whatevs. The positions are entirely consistent from a productivity perspective. And no, we’re not purists. If you want that I suggest church for you.

        We smash all pollies all of the time and if you can;t see that then pick an MSM side and enjoy.

  51. 60,000 users x 20% subscription rate x $149.00 = $1,788,000 revenue… + ad revenue. not a bad little money turner.

  52. I think it would be interesting to introduce a form of MB paywall currency, something simple say a like /dislike counter which rewarded commentators for likes and charged for dislikes.

    Blatant propaganda can be posted but at a cost (dislikes= -ve MB currency)

    Balanced analysis will probably be rewarded in most cases

    The value for the site would be expanded more nuanced content with a motivation to post worthwhile comments as opposed to the snippy oneliners. Hey but even good oneliners would get rewarded. The real value is probably as a type of sort function, sometimes you get threads with 150 comments where there is not a single comment that’s worth reading, in this way the “like counter” sort function adds value by saving me time.

  53. Sadly cause I’m a pensioner I get locked out. Bit sad there isn’t another way to sustain the site cause otherwise it’s interesting and forum for comment -on real issues (not social crap). I’ll see what’s accessable but if like BS they lock everyone except payees out then it might be time to move on somewhere else.
    Thanks up to now.

  54. Thanks for an interesting blog but I won’t be signing up.

    I did try to do that at the beginning of this year. My new years resolution was to become a member but when I tried to sign up via paypal they insisted on my bank account details. Not willing to do give those I sent an email to MB for an alternative payment. No response – not the way to run a business guys.

    This site was quite balanced at the start. But it has been usurped by a core constituency.

    If you can get this site back on track I’ll join up.

  55. Done, hope it is worth it!

    Any tips on how to claim this on tax returns as investment costs when I have had no new investments this tax year?

  56. On my iPhone, unless I am logged in it persistently serves up the desktop version of your site. And I assure you there is NO version switcher in the footer.

    Won’t be subscribing until you fix that bug at least. Plenty of other usability improvements you could make at zero cost with the right plug-ins. It’s just WordPress after all.

    • The same happnes for me. Its driving me crazy!

      It used to work perfectly and now it’s not device adaptive at all.

      Also when viewing it from my laptop its serves up the mobi version.

      Any help would be great. Also a technical part of the blog with known bugs/issues and expected resolutions or at least acknowledgements of the issue would be great. Not sure how to get anyone’s attention unless via comments in non specific threads.

  57. As Houses and Holes recommended, I terminated my subscription on its final day, but for some reason I was still charged $99 on that day. I understand you guys must be busy, but I would appreciate a response to my emails.

  58. Long-time reader – just signed up! Glad to support a site that provides such quality economic commentary.

  59. I was so busy sharpening my pitchfork I almost forgot to sign up… All done!

    Here’s hoping for a bubble implosion in the next 12 months and politicians on the bonfire…