August 25, 2017

The Atlantic announced today that it’s introducing a membership program for fans, becoming the latest publication to seek out reader support to bolster its bottom line.

The announcement, which came in a letter to subscribers, promised “a brand-new way to experience The Atlantic” and pledged that members would get exclusive access to content.

Dear Subscriber,

We wanted you to be the first to know that, in the next few weeks, we’re going to be launching a brand-new way to experience The Atlantic.

Over the past few years, many of you have shared ideas for what you’d like to see more of from us. We’ve listened.

In early September, we’ll be unveiling The Atlantic’s first-ever membership program, based on your generous feedback.

When you become a founding member, you’ll receive daily, exclusive content, offering insight into issues you’ve told us you care about deeply; you’ll get direct access to our journalists and contributor network; and you’ll be able to engage with other Atlantic readers about ideas that matter.

You’ll also be supporting a sustainable future for journalism—and informing where we take The Atlantic in the years to come.

Next week, we’ll be in touch with more details. But for now, let us just say thanks, as always, for your support and interest.

—The Team at The Atlantic

A spokesperson for The Atlantic said the program would be rolled out sometime in the next few weeks.

The Atlantic joins a raft of publications that have turned to membership as a revenue stream in recent years. The Marshall Project, Honolulu Civil Beat, InsideClimate News, The Lens, NJ Spotlight and PolitiFact have all recently explored membership programs, which put a premium on reader engagement.

Emerson Collective, the philanthropic organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, announced last month that it agreed to buy a majority stake in The Atlantic. The magazine’s balance sheet appears to be in good shape; The Washington Post reported in July that it was profitable, with more than 80 percent of its revenue coming from digital sources, live events and a consulting business.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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