From blogs and online magazines to podcasts and newsletters: Steady empowers digital media and creatives to become independent via memberships. More than 100,000 people support hundreds of Steady projects with a monthly or annual membership. The Berlin start-up was founded in 2016 by Sebastian Esser and Philipp Schwörbel, who previously founded Krautreporter. After just one year, Steady had cracked its first turnover of a million Euros in membership fees and is now bringing in hundreds of thousands of Euros every month. In 2019 Steady was a finalist for the European Digital Media Award for Best Paid Content Strategy, placing second behind The Guardian.
The Key to Independence: The Power of the Community
More personal than subscriptions, more freeing than advertisements and more sustainable than donations: The importance of memberships as a funding model for media and other projects is growing rapidly. In the US market alone, media makers and creatives will earn more than half a billion dollars in membership fees in 2019 from fans and supporters. There, more than 3 million people are supporting projects they don't want to live without.
Members support publications and personalities on a long-term basis – not because they have to pay in order to access content, but because they want to, because they are part of a community. Memberships are the key to an independent and diverse media landscape. This is the Membership Revolution and Steady is bringing it to Europe.
How It Works
Five minutes are all it takes to start a membership program with Steady and begin selling monthly and annual memberships. Publishers on Steady set their own prices, select benefits to offer in exchange for members’ support and can adjust all the settings at any time. Steady includes an adjustable paywall for each website and a WordPress plugin, exclusive podcast feeds and a flexible API. The payment process is painless and members can cancel at any time.
Steady is on the publishers’ side: Steady only earns money once the publisher starts earning money, and even then it is just 10% of gross revenue. The average monthly member contribution is €5.25 and the cancellation rate is low, because members are able to act with conviction, rather than feeling tricked into a subscription.
Steady has an international team of 27 employees. In April 2019, Steady received seven-figure funding from investors Müller Medien and IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft. >> Press release