What's the value of Weekly5?
It's a question that has circled my head for the past months. Some of you might find the value in simply the songs themselves. Others might find the limited selection of five tracks helpful guidance in the vastness of new releases or enjoy my written descriptions. Maybe you love the more human experience of getting musical inspiration from another person rather than an algorithm.
Driven By Passion
In essence, Weekly5 provides a straightforward service: A weekly curation of five new songs.
But the driving force behind this service is a deeply rooted passion for music. I couldn't picture my life without music playing a decisive part, giving comfort and energy.
After folding the activity of my decade-old online magazine, Negative White, in the summer of 2020, I soon found myself craving new music again. At the same time, friends approached me and said they particularly miss the Weekly5, the format that came to be as part of the magazine.
Both my own and other people's desires made me return to music journalism and playlist curating.
Two years later, I've recommended 350 songs in 2021 and 2022. During this time, I've constantly iterated the technical foundation, the design, the delivery, and the writing. I've also experimented with new content ideas—from guest curations to a new format called reLISTEN.
Some of those experiments were successful, others not so much. But in my regard, Weekly5 has never been as mature as it is today.
Sustainability In 2023
With a higher level of sophistication, I could look deeper into Weekly5's sustainability. The curation requires a lot of resources, both time and money. I've described it in this behind-the-scenes post: A regular edition usually takes approximately 8 hours—a full working day. Additionally, the upkeep of the technical infrastructure and the needed tools to make Weekly5 cost about $1000 per year.
In early 2022, I started the paid membership to help cover the costs. Currently, the paying subscribers contribute $504. While these contributions are helping with the financial burden, there's no way around the fact that the service still isn't sustainable.
My goal for next year is to make Weekly5 financially sustainable.
My offering needs to undergo its most significant change to accomplish this goal:
Starting in 2023, the full Weekly5 experience will only be available to paying subscribers.
The Detailed Changes
Until today, there were two different types of subscription offers:
- Free member
- Paying subscriber ($5 monthly or $55 yearly)
Most of you belong to the free tier and receive the Weekly5 editions with five new tracks every Sunday. Paying subscribers also received reLISTEN editions with "older" song recommendations and occasional specials.
From next year on, free members will receive a monthly recap. In addition, ads will potentially support the free edition.
The whole Weekly5 experience with the five songs will be available exclusively to paid subscribers. And, of course, there will never be any ads displayed in the premium editions.
New Subscription Offerings
New subscription offerings are available to you to account for the significant changes. In addition, every paid subscription comes with a 30-day trial and can be cancelled anytime.
Here are the different subscription offerings in detail:
Get some sonic inspiration
🎵 Receive 5 songs every month
🏷 Supported by ads
The full Weekly5 experience
🎵 Receive 5 songs every Sunday
✨ Access to exclusive formats
📦 Full archive access
🚫 No ads
Show your love
💙 Everything included in Premium
🎁 Gift a subscription to a loved one
🎧 A personalised playlist
More Content For Paying Subscribers
The new subscription model comes with an additional benefit. In 2023, exclusive formats like reLISTEN will be published more frequently, providing you with even more great music to discover.
I will also bring back more interactive content that allows you to share your favourite music with the Weekly5 community. And I'll plan to create more behind-the-scenes content to give you an even deeper insight into the inner workings of playlist curation.
Phew, that's been quite an announcement—one that also makes me quite anxious, to be honest. So I hope you'll join me on the road to sustainability for Weekly5 or at least stay for the free edition and enjoy discovering new music every week.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to reach out here.