Why do we have to pay for articles now that were once free?

igetmoney62245 3 years ago updated by David Hoffer 7 months ago 30

Is this a money grab?  I am not paying for articles that were once free.  Go back to the old way, and make money like every other large internet site through ads 


sad, even some contributors are upset, no warning, just change things on us, been coming here for over 10yrs since Yahoo Finance went down hill.. oh well.. there are a lot of other resources that are free.

please list the other sites. I will happily end my email notifications and dump Alpha for their less greedy comperitors.


Thanks for your comments. I know it's frustrating when something which was previously free is no longer free. However, we believe that the growth of Seeking Alpha, and our ability to reward our contributors for their work, requires subscriptions as well as advertising. 

I'm sure you've seen this from other publishers as well. There's a growing consensus in the publishing industry (other than Facebook and Google) that quality publishing is not sustainable with advertising alone. And we believe that Seeking Alpha articles are far more valuable than articles which many news sites charge for -- because Seeking Alpha articles help investors make profitable investment decisions. 


We understand that many of our users won't want to pay. Receiving something free for a long period of time naturally creates a sense of entitlement. And $75 a month is considerably more money than news sites charge (for their articles which don't help you make profitable investment decisions). 

So we've tried to design our paywall to maintain what we hope will still be a great free experience. All our news is still free. Analysis articles about broad themes or groups of stocks are still entirely free. And analysis articles that focus on a specific stock are still free in the first 10 days. Only analysis articles about specific stocks which are at least 10 days after publication now require a subscription to read. And for those, everyone can still see the article summary, and if you commented on one those articles and receive a comment notification, you'll still be able to see the comments without a subscription (but not the article itself). 

The net effect of this is that if you have a portfolio on Seeking Alpha, or follow your favorite authors, or find articles in sections of Seeking Alpha like Dividend Investing, you're probably reading articles within 10 days of publication, so your experience will be unchanged. 

However, if you want to research a stock, the most valuable articles -- those about the specific stock in question -- now require a subscription. But even then, many articles which discuss the stock are still free. Here's how to find those articles. if you're on a quote page (like Altria -- MO), click on "Analysis" and select "Related Analysis" from the dropdown.

I hope this explains some of our thinking about this issue.


Screwy site. I get a log in screen to read an article, 3 missed pw attempts and I'm instructed to reset it (3 attempts on a non financial site? LOL)  So I do and no log in screen appears, after 5 minutes reloading, opening, closing etc... but I'm "allowed" to finish reading the article under the mantle of a Free trial (w/ cc info entered, oc).  What I'm paying for is a non-professional, unaccountable opinion on a highly subjective subject. I'll never pay for that kind of "information", as like stated, there is no accountability for misguided research (other then the poor guy may not get to write for SA in the future). If you can't make the nut on add revenue alone, you'll have to look for sources outside of myself for it. If I'm going to pay for information, I want to know there is something motivating the researcher beyond article payment, In that case, I'll subscribe to a professional research organization. However, up to this point, I've found no single source one who, at the end of the day, turns out more concise, more usable information than I can turn out myself. 

Thank You. 


I got so sick of the Seeing Alpha e-mails flooding my inbox everyday that I attempted to unsubscribe from everything. Unfortunately I still got daily e-mails from them after that. This was already so annoying that there is no way I would even pay $1 to subscribe to Pro. The free info was bad enough and spoke in a very negative light about good companies. Seeking Alpha should dial it back on the e-mail spamming, it's very annoying,


Seeking Alpha does not email spam. You are currently subscribed to a significant number of newsletters and authors. To unsubscribe please go to Profile --> Email alerts --> Author Email Alerts/Newsletters and unsubscribe.


thank you for appreciating how entitled we "free" viewers  are for supporting you and your sponsors who paid a lot of money to advertise on the site, in my case for 10+ yrs.. bringing new viewers to the site via links to articles in yahoo, stockhouse, etc..  linking articles within SA to help good contributors build their followings etc.  and providing what you and others who have reached out to me with quality comments that also contribute..

I just think it could have been handled differently rather than a surprise to your core supporters (commenters)  which really seem like a small universe overall.  oh well.. thanks for explaining.  Bea


Bea, you're right -- instead of writing "Receiving something free for a long period of time naturally creates a sense of entitlement", I should have written "It's hard to contemplate paying for something when you've been getting it for free for a long time, irrespective of how valuable it is." I apologize for that.

I also think your suggestion that we communicate more directly with our comment community is important.

And finally, a genuine "thank you" for your support and comments -- which I'm now reading! (https://seekingalpha.com/user/237658/comments).


I have an idea. How about charging extra for reading comments? You can then make more money.


thank you, Ill get over it.. I try to contribute w not just the "great article" comment .. you have to do what you have to do..time will tell.  Bests.. Bea


I discovered SA through links in Yahoo Finance about six years ago.  If you had asked for $75 a month back then, I would have simply walked away.  But I've read articles and written comments and tried to be a valued commentor (some of your authors would disagree but that's their problem) for six years.

Now you want $75 a month?  I'll walk away.  I won't "get over it".  Your justification is meaningless to me.  It's a pure money grab.  Go on, admit it.

When the next downturn comes, your gravy train will dry up and you'll go the way of Motley Fool, which is to say, bye-bye.


And your failure to properly disclose or announce this, speaks to your ethics.  We're just the tip of a huge wave of disappointment and disgust.

SeekingAlpha is simply applying the principles of capitalism to publishing. If you are an informed investor, you will recognize that it is maximizing revenue from a product that is in demand.

If you know about marketing, you will assume SeekingAlpha has done audience analyses with income segmentation, possibly surveying specific segments, and produced projections of what people will pay for the product.

Management then looked at the cost-demand curve and set the cost ($900 per year) at a point where revenues would be maximized despite some loss of readership. It's not a charity, it's a business.

Reading complaints is a low-cost consequence of making this change, sudden or otherwise.

If the projections are not accurate and revenues do not meet expectation, SeekingAlpha may occasionally have reduced-rate specials to boost sales.

SeekingAlpha is a business first. The nurturing of so-called community with free content and social media aspects built site participation and popularity. That phase is over.

If, as an investor, you are knowledgeable about how businesses work, you already know this.

The lack of notice for the change, however, was inelegantly handled. But maybe SeekingAlpha management saw no reason for it, giving notice would only prolong the complaint period, which will unwind in time. I hope whoever among the staff is assigned to read the complaints and comment sympathetically gets a bonus for it.


Time will tell if you're right, but I think this will be a net negative for the business overall. Here's what I think will happen. It will take time, but people will eventually leave when it becomes clear that they're not getting anywhere near $900 per year of value out of the site. As many people have said before, the value in SA comes from the community, and as the community shrinks, so will the intrinsic value of the business. The snowball will begin to roll.

You can talk about analysis you want, but the analysis was done before the paywall. Post-paywall Seeking Alpha will prove to be a completely different thing than it is right now. 


SA management may be a business, actually more a greedy money grubbing business, but the many followers who are now being screwed over have built that business for them. And yes they have made a lot of money from the ads - now they just want to make even more. Many of their newer contributors have already made it almost impossible to follow them, since they too have decided to charge exorbitant charges for their private newsletters, and many of the articles they now publish are basically advertisements for their newsletters. However, there are still some of the old timers, who remember why they have contributed all these years and how they have helped build this FREE community, they too are complaining, when you private message them. They claim that SA "owns" all their articles, so even IF and when they had tried to keep their articles coming for FREE to their followers, SA tells them they can NOT do that. What a shame that SA's greed has taken over what used to be a great community. There is absolutely no defense for this type of greed, no matter how much you try to defend it. Quite obviously all the SA insiders still have access to all the older than 10 day articles, so they don't understand or don't want to understand that many times for various reasons you may NOT be able to get to the articles in 10 days, and many times you may need to refer back to articles more than 10 days later - NO MORE unless you fess up $900.00 per year. Like I said - what a shame.


I have been a long time user of seeking alpha. I will continue to use it as I like the news section and current articles. The lack of communication was handled awfully. Even if half the people leave they would probably make more. What I don’t understand is when companies try to get greedy. The lack of communication concerns me that down the road something else might change. If news needs to be paid for or articles get shorter I will end up leaving


After reading about half a free article and having to click off the "Do you want alerts on this stock" I decided to stop the annoying popup by signing in.  Did so and found that the article was now pay only.  Felt like I got sucker-punched. Either it should have been pay only from the outset or the pop-up should have indicated that the article's status would change.

Not signing up.


Regarding signing up......it's been fun but apparently all good things must come to an end......going elsewhere.....take care......


xD I'm was trying to read an analysis article. It told me sign up to read more. After I signed up and went through the length process of setting up a profile, it told me you have to pay to view.



I was wondering why I couldn't view articles on my phone. I'm erasing app now and I didn't read your articles to make a buying decision since I buy the whole market. I was just bored on lunch break


Adios, muchachos!

Professional web site , but never made any trading decisions based on it.Nasdaq.com is still free and informative

very greedy - one lost customer here.

I just wanted to know how many good articles somebody wrote before somebody actually got paid for an exclusive article they wrote for seeking alpha. I have watched CNBC since 1996 till now on the web. I traded also on and off most of that time. My experience speaks for itself and I feel could help a great many investors. If I can't make money from knowing about several different sectors in depth, I wonder who can? Also I have not figured out away to get my article on the main page or top of the list. If I was ever on that page for even a day or two, many would subscribe to me because many of the hottest stocks, accounting does not matter but opinion of the stock such as a Netflix I am short on. I feel the pot sector is a month or two away from bottoming and am long TLRY but have not written an article on it. Maybe my next one. Do they call you to say we have a check for you? Do they mail it? Why make it a scam when not too many subscriptions cover the cost of a 1000.00 article 1000's have read?

Just realized ALL analysis articles are now premium.  Deleted my account, goodbye.


This is not accurate. Only articles older than 10 days are premium.


Daniel Hochman

Director of Product, Seeking Alpha

Good luck monetizing. Poor product. I'll go elsewhere.