I believe this change actually hurts the authors more than the readers. An author spends hours on researching and writing an article in the hopes of gaining a following. A reader decides to "follow" an author once they have shown some consistent success in their stocks picks. If a reader loses the ability to look back and see how successful an author was, the chances of them gaining followers and eventually paid subscribers are significantly reduced.
A more discrete way to monetize would have been to take a bigger cut of author subscriptions. I currently subscribe to one author, however I was considering a second to the tune of $100/mo in total subscriptions. Now I'm going to hold off out of fear that the author will likely reduce their participation on Seeking Alpha with the limited reach they now have.
Content is what drives success on any good website. By killing the incentive for an author to put out quality content, you've essentially killed your golden goose that draws people in.
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