The Old Reader, a popular RSS service and alternative to Google Reader, today announced a Premium version, which is required for users with more than 100 feeds. The Old Reader Premium will cost $3 per month or $30 per year, although there is a two-week promotional price (up to 5,000 accounts) of $2 per month or $20 per year for a minimum of the next two years.

The company says 90 percent of its users can continue using the free service, but the remaining 10 percent will be asked to subsidize them. All functionality will remain available to free accounts, but if you have more than 100 feeds, you’ll be forced to upgrade (there’s a two-week trial period you might want to check out if you’re in this group).

If you do end up upgrading, here are the features you can expect:

  • Full-text search.
  • Faster feed refresh times.
  • Up to 500 Subscriptions.
  • 6 months of post storage.
  • Instapaper and Readability integration.
  • Early access to new features.

The goal is naturally to build a business model for the RSS reader. A service at such scale can’t be maintained for free forever:

Our next goal is to ensure the long term financial viability of The Old Reader. Hosting, development, and support are not inexpensive and while it’s never been our goal to get rich off of this application, long term sustainability and growth will require revenue. So we explored several models for generating revenues including a premium offering and advertising. In the end, we’d like to avoid advertising as we feel it’s too invasive and runs counter to our strong belief in the open web.

If you want to subscribe to more than 100 feeds without paying for premium version, we recommend InoReader and Feedly.

See also – The Old Reader team pulls a 180, announces the RSS reader may remain open to the public and The Old Reader lives: Site will stay open to the public thanks to an unnamed ‘corporate entity’ in the US

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