Readability Calls It Quits On Its Flawed Business Model

CEO of Readability, Richard Ziade, at the Readability Blog:

And the great majority of those publishers never registered. Out of the millions—yes, millions—of domains that flowed through Readability, just over 2,000 registered to claim their money. As a result, most of the money we collected—over 90%—has gone unclaimed. As of today there’s nearly $150,000 in earmarked money sitting in a separate, untouched bank account. Good riddance. I never consented for Readability to collect fees on my behalf. Readability is finally admitting that 90% of the publishers their users read, never signed up for their opt-in service despite the fact that, for years, they used this justification to collect money from users on their behalf. Sleaze. Oh and what are they doing with that $150,000? They're giving it to two charities of their choice, without refunding it to users. Because, you know, Readability knows best…and by giving it to charities of their choice, they prevent you from criticizing that they're too lazy to refund it all individually back to the users who paid them the money in the first place. Sleaze.