+19
Completed

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

igetmoney62245 3 years ago updated by anonymous 5 hours ago 80

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 

+77

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.

+67

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

What other sites are people now looking at for similar content? GuruFocus is pretty good for some stuff. Any other suggestions?

-185

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.

+23

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. 

+11

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,

-2
Completed

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.

Seeking Alpha customer service has disappeared. 4 phone calls ended with survey requests.  I have a time sensitive question that must be answered today.  Hope you care about my business enough to provide basic customer service (lack of which was the main reason I have terminated trials).  Please respond!!

+44

this is confusing.  i never saw any warning or announcement of changes.  Just got a wall for article limit.  Who knew.  

I have been trying to find out what the limit is?  what is the free article limit?  You should probably rethink the # of free articles.  you need to keep people on the site enough to want more.  

i maybe would have considered paying but this feels kind of dirty to me

+43

Entitlement was a breathtakingly poor choice of words. With regard to your seemingly abrupt decision re the paywall I can and  do understand the need to cover expenses. For now I think I'll probably just take a break from your service and look around for some other options. Might be back...might not. Will definitely miss you guys...your site was almost too good to be true. Good luck with the new model.  OB

+37

What you said doesnt make sense. I cant seem to read any article even if it was published today. I have tried multiple articles just now, everytime the paywall pop-up comes up.

+21

JUST MY EXPERIENCE FOR THE PAST 3 DAYS.. sa can stop access to its articles.. it has lacked the decency to inform if not in advance at least with the e-mail message .

+38

not true. even recent articles are not available for free

+7

..."entitlement"... Any chance of getting this guy fired?

I just signed up for the basic membership with 2 wk trial.  Not the premium.  I can't read any of the articles that are being sent to me.   So does this mean I have to pay the premium to read the articles ?  This is very confusing since I have been reading articles free.  But if the basic doesn't include articles on stocks then I am not interested.  I can get the same info on my brokerage account.  

+11

Bottom line -- STOP SENDING EMAIL ALERT LINKS TO ARTICLES THAT AREN'T AVAILABLE TO NON-PAYING MEMBERS.  HOW FRIGGING HARD IS THAT!!! And your notion that some content is still free hasn't been my experience. Every single article I've attemtped to access (from the email links and frm the app and from the website directly) are behind the paywall. 

Also - entitlement? Really? Who the heck do you think you are?!? Entitlement would be AOC and her gang that think its ok to borrow $100K or more, party for four years and then be upset if Old Joe doesn't wipe the slate clean. 

+2

It is not working this way AT ALL. Even in a new month I still get a "at your article limit for the month"

+5

Hi

in your message above you note that the following remains free-of-charge under the basic service:

- all news 

- general analysis about a broad theme or sector

- all articles on specific companies within 10 days of publication

- reading and writing comments on articles 


This unfortunately is not correct.  I've tried for weeks but can't access news or articles even on the day they are published. 

Since lots of people seem frustrated, could you please check your statement above and provide a general response at least to existing "basic" subsribers (like myself since 2014) so to not leave us in the dark?

Thanks

+2

Some of your writers publish questionable material at best ? Paying for such shot in the dark information is questionable at best. I only take seeking alpha advice as a barometer of ideas - some of which or many if not most are full of hot air. 

Just noticed these are 2-3 years old.  I guess that says something,

3/31/21 Seeking Alpha customer service has disappeared. 4 phone calls ended with survey requests. I have a time sensitive question that must be answered today.Considering paying for a 1 year subscription to one of your rooms.  Hope you care about my business enough to provide basic customer service (lack of which was the main reason I have terminated trials). Please respond!!

just the explanation alone of what is still “free” it’s very complicated and convoluted. Pretty poor experience to do this without even notice to users, or a professional communication explaining how funds are going to be used as you are stating (to pay contributors).... not worth what you claim, and your answer is unprofessional and defensive 

+23

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

-58

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).

+21

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

+1

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

+39

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.

-8

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.

+26

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. 

+13

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.

+12

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

+5

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.

+11

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

+4

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.

Genius. 

+4

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

+11

Adios, muchachos!

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

+4

very greedy - one lost customer here.

-1

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?

+17

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

-47

Hi,

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

Thanks,

Daniel Hochman

Director of Product, Seeking Alpha

+6

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

+22

The better strategy should have been to LOWER the subscription price to like $20/year and watch subscriptions grow 1000x. 

+14

No one's paying 20/month for this content -- let's get real 

+11

20 dollar a month is far too high. I have used Seeking Alpha for over 2 years but I am not willing to pay that much. They need to have a yearly subscription thats under 50.

+9

agree - I said $20 a year. Like, this isn’t NYT or the FT. I do enjoy reading the articles but it’s not worth $25 a month. Nor is the premium plan  “premium” when it still contains ads. Double whammy. 

I would happily pay <50/year for this and I imagine that’s also the edge for many many other readers.  Lower the cost and reward existing subscribers whilst attracting 100x more additional subscribers. 

What the current move shows is the existing advertising is not working at all for SA. So now they’ll push away both advertisers and subscribers since there’s no free version worth reading for unpaid users. And I find it hard to believe any paid subscriber would tolerate ads. 

+18

The content on Seeking Alpha is not worth $20/month. I pay $5/month for WSJ, $5/month for Barrons, and $12/month of FT. 70% + SA users won't pay this. The content is too spotty. Best of luck Seeking Alpha. You're going to need it. You made a big mistake here. 

+8

I have used Seeking Alpha, this is simply a bulletin board , where users shared information. If you wanted to get paid the content needs to be editing, confirmed and authors should be ranked based on their success rate. I have found a wide range of expertise on the site. From this should never been published to some superb articles. The issue is that the content has not been reviewed. I have read some obviously well written articles , that leave out the obvious risks. Unfortunately this site is enjoyable and provides some great ideas. But is hardly professional anaysis will be hard to justify paying for what is provided.

+5

Subscription cost far to high.  

+1

Ever considered putting up an add or playing an add movie before reading an article on SA... like YouTube does with videos? I don't need to pay $250 to watch YouTube do I?

+4

ADIOS!   $20?   LOL  Buh bye

+3

Try siliconinvestor.com

Great forum for tech stocks.

+2

Please reduce your annual fee to an amount <50$. You'll lose a lot of recurring users with the current flawed pricing strategy. 

+5

I have really enjoyed reading articles on SA. I understand that they are still a business and need to make money but $20-$30 a month for something that was free last week is overboard. I’d be willing to spend $5 a month... I am very disappointed with this surprise change and I am going to look elsewhere for content.

+6

I agree with everyone else on here. I'd pay $5/mo but nothing more. This change was done without ANY warning or heads up. Not cool SA.

+12

Seeking Alpha Admins,

I can't begin to express my extreme disappointment with you.  No only were we not informed about the recent paywall changes, but your own press release doesn't even say how many free articles we can read each month or how much a subscription costs.

After reading posts hear that say that you want $20 a month, I'm deleting the App from my iPhone.  It's not worth anywhere near that price.

Let's see, a year of Amazon Prime is $120:  Millions of movies and shows, plus free shipping (and more) - that's worth it.    Discovery+ just announced their streaming service: 55,000 shows for $4.99 a month.  And you think that you can charge $20 a month - Forget it.

Everyone should Google "seeking alpha alternative"

It's too bad.  There are a few good writers on SA and I've subscribed to their services.  Now, new authors will never even have the chance to reach me because I can't read their free articles.  So those authors will lose out, plus, you'll lose the advertising revenue that you receive from the ads that you placed in the articles.  No articles, no ad revenue, no chance to discover new authors.........

Way to go SA.  What a way to kill a business.   How much would I pay?    For $1.99 a month I'd sign up without thinking about it.   For $4.99 I might sign up.   For anything more than that, your App gets deleted.

Goodbye SA

+7

I have been a follower of S/A for the better part of ten years mainly for the e-mail news service. I recently found that up until now free feature of my watchlist along with virtually all S/A articles are now behind a paywall (i.e. Premium) and not accessible even during the initial ten days after publication. And with no prior notification to users (highly disrespectful) and at an arbitrary price that seems questionable based on content, I sadly will be seeking an alternate source for this service. 

+4

Surprise,  After about 10 years on your site.  Much of your information was helpful to my retirement investing.  Now I'm retiring from your zero free access.  Thanks and bye.

+8

The last few days I could not figure out why the paywall came up when ever I tried to read a free article. Was there a notice posted? I checked to be certain the articles were not for the premium service. One of the authors I follow often has his articles tagged for the premium service. I have thought I might upgrade in the near future, but this greatly reduces the comment stream behind the articles which I also greatly value. I must say how greatly disappointed I am that Seeking Alpha would make this change. This materially reduces the value of the service. I hope management reconsiders what I view as a poor decision.

+6

All of a sudden ALL articles are restricted and only viewable by monthly payment plan, bummer. I really liked the site for what many had to say in comments regarding things going on day to day in the market. Anyone know of a good alternative? 

+4

This is a let down. DEF not paying for free articles. LOL

+4

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Unsubscribing before I can be blindsided again.


A lot of the authors I followed are implementing their own subscription services. Now SA wants me to pay for the leftovers? Not happening! 

+2

What is the limit anyway ? I reached limit in just 5 days! 

+1

I paid one week ago and still cannot read articles. That is not good. Please do not charge me if you do not allow me to read the articles. If not OK, I use other websites now.

I am a Staff Author at FieldEngineer.com a Marketplace for On-Demand telecom workforce, extending from field engineers to high-level network engineers, project managers and Network Architects in 146 nation

+3

No clue what the limit is - they just tell you you've reached it - while some of the contributors may be professional or semi-professional, SA management is certainly not - the good news - lots of greener pastures

+4

David Jackson wrote:

"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."

--My experience is that the broad-theme articles are no longer accessible for free, and those are the type that I value most. Also, notifications now seem to lean toward those on specific stocks and to articles by less experienced commentors. In any case, except for a very few cases, whenever I click to read, I get the message "You have exceeded your article limit." But nowhere have you informed your regulars what that limit is. The transition to a paywall was handled very poorly. It strikes me that you will lose thousands of users by switching to a subscription service. It is far too costly for me, even if it were half the price.  

+1

Agreed - I understand their reasons - but no communication before hand? Really?

And yes it would be nice to get an indication on how many free articles per month. Today is 1st April and I'm getting the same message "you have reached your limit"....... which mean the limit must be zero because I haven't managed to access any this month........

+4

SCHD SA News Mon, Feb. 22

This news is not free. I understand articles are limited, but news announcements?

+2

You've lost my patronage

Big F U to SA. Money hungry company. Never coming back.

The announcements says you can access a certain number of articles per month........ I must have hit my limit 5 days ago.... but its now 1st April and I still can't get any articles......... anyone know how many free articles you get per month ????

Total clip job.  Never again.  I want my subscription money back! 

+1

This subscription stuff is total BS.  I've used SA for years, and they now want paid for other contributors free articles.  I really used to like the info, but now I'm leaving.  Goodbye 

How do I remove myself from your getting \notifications?

+1

I had been a long time SA subscriber, since 2013 when I retired. The quality and value of the site has been decreasing over the last couple of years as more and more writers started hiding their best work behind very expensive paywalls.  What was left of value became harder and harder to find - amongst a lot of adds - and the comment section that had been a great source of counter argument started to dry up.  Now, SA wants us to pay $240/yr for the dreck that is left.  Come on!  I do not want to invest my retirement savings totally in REITS, mReits, High Dividend or Preferred stocks.  So if I go with one of these paid services that specialize in one of these sectors, the high premium I'd pay for expert advice would be good for only a portion of my investments.  My supposedly higher return would not be justified by this significant expense.  Further, there are no challenges by other experts on the other side of a paywall to balance recommendations. In the end, the best take away from my SA experience is basic FastGraphs.  Thank you for that. I miss what SeekingAlpha had been.  I do not miss what SeekingAlpha is now.

You clowns have the audacity to still run ads with a woefully overpriced $20/month price tag on premium. Enjoy your decline to irrelevance.