June 4th, 2001


Proportion of Paid Journals Slipping?

I'm an active helper in lj_support, and a regular watcher here. I just had a question regarding longterm viability of LiveJournal. This is not negative, just a question. I hope that it is appreciated as such.

I follow the stats page at http://www.livejournal.com/stats.bml every so often, and I've noticed that there's over the last 2-3 months there has been a slow decrease in the proportion of paid journals to total number of journals from about 2.2% of journals to 1.6% now.

At the same time, I realise that there has been explosive growth of LiveJournal, and despite the proportion slipping, the absolute number of paid subscribers has risen dramatically. It's just not rising as fast as the total number of new subscriptions, that's all.

Is this a risky prospect, having a slow but steady decline proportion of paid subscriptions, or is LiveJournal currently seeing sufficient paid subscription growth in order to secure and fund its future development? Is there any risk to the sliding proportion of paid users to total users on LiveJournal?

And as an aside, has anyone done any modelling on LiveJournal as to what type of users pay for an account? From my own experience (and this is just the small community of 50 or so that I know on LiveJournal, people 25 and over that use it regularly are more likely to pay for it than those under 25. I'd be interested to know if anyone has done this sort of modelling to determine the characteristics of those that are more likely to subscribe. Perhaps this could be used in future as a guide to who LiveJournal should be encouraging onto the site.

I'd be interested in everyone's thoughts on these matters.