Membership tiers?

First off, thanks everybody for all the work put into the latest release. From the platform and its new functionality to the website and its excellent design, everything is seriously amazing. Cheers!

As I’m now in the final stages of migrating the blog of a colleague over to Ghost from Medium and Patreon (partially thanks to the 3.0 release), I’m wondering if the Ghost members system will be integrating some kind of tiers functionality in the future.

For example, looking at my colleague’s Patreon page I see that he has different tiers:

  1. $5/month for access to member’s posts
  2. $10/month for the above plus access to drafts of upcoming books
  3. $50/month for the above plus a personal thank you call
  4. $100/month for the above plus a day’s worth of consultancy per month

etc.

I see on the Member / Price data docs page that it says that “Because of the possibility that a single member could have multiple subscriptions the data is provided as an array.” Does that mean that something like tier functionality might be integrated in the future?

Thanks again!

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Hi there. Subscription data comes from Stripe, so any Stripe subscription attached to a members email would accessible from {{#foreach @member.subsciptions}}. So in theory you could customise a theme to check subscriptions for certain tiers, that is if they are managing payments with Stripe. More information on member subscription data can be found here:

Okay, I’ve yet to try setting up a Stripe account, so I have no idea how things look like on that end. That being so, I’m still a bit confused about how things might work on Ghost’s end.

First off, there was a rather pertinent article in Publisher Weekly #71 called How are paywalled news outlets preparing to serve residents in California’s mega-power shutoffs?, in which it was stated that “If we’re going to have news that is paid for by audiences, we have to talk about the news that should never be behind paywalls.”

So say you’ve got an investigative journalism site in which the core posts themselves should not be placed behind a paywall. Nonetheless, you do need to fund the investigative journalism itself. To do this you may decide to offer some “non-important” and/or preview material in order to attract funding, possibly from even various levels (tiers) of funding.

For example:

Tier 1 would be a token gesture kind of tier where “general” members posts were made available, these just being basic updates to what’s going on.

Tier 2, in order to attract a higher level of funding, would offer something like “special” members posts which would be previews of chapters of upcoming, as-yet-to-be-published books. (This methodology would fit in with the ethos of not having material behind a paywall that shouldn’t be behind a paywall, acting instead as a kind of sneak peak.)

Tier 3 could be not connected to any kind of members posts but nonetheless provide extra goodies (like a personal phone call or what have you).

Tier 4, consultancy

etc.

With that said, I don’t see how any of that could work from Ghost’s end. I mean, wouldn’t there need to be more input boxes in the Subscription Pricing section so that you could do something like this:

And wouldn’t there need to be some kind of extra helpers/objects/attributes (?) so you could hook it all up and do something like this:

I don’t mean this as a hypothetical but rather as a real-case example of what a colleague of mine does via Patreon, which I can give you a link to (if you’d like to take a look), and which we’re getting ready to launch on Ghost. (Actually, I could give you links to multiple Patreon pages of multiple colleagues who work like this, with the same ethos.)

Please don’t get me wrong though, I’m not trying to say/scream “How come you haven’t implemented something like this! Everybody else has!”, but rather I’m just wondering if this is possible right now and/or if there may be plans to do something like this in the future. Because having personally migrated the content of this first colleague’s blog from Medium over to Ghost, we’re now getting ready to launch it with memberships functionality once its theme has been updated. But although I’d ideally like to completely migrate my colleagues’ members over from Patreon to Ghost and have it all in one system, I imagine that for funding purposes that may not be viable if the idea is to maintain his level(s) of funding that he currently gets through Patreon. Likewise, I know that Ghost is able to hook up with Patreon (but with Patreon’s tier structure?), but I imagine it would be so much easier and less cumbersome if everything could be under the Ghost umbrella.

As one last observation, I imagine this extra tier-functionality might make it possible (and be enticing) for podcasters/videocasters (possibly hooking up to something like Podbean) to have one tier for access to podcasts of shows, another higher tier for access to vidcasts of shows, etc.

Cheers

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I have to say the use case you’re describing is incredibly elaborate and specific use case for Ghost Members. The complexity of this leads me to believe that it wouldn’t be a good idea to house the project all under one platform, regardless whether the platform is Ghost or not.

From what I’m getting in your post is that they are doing a great job of managing pricing tiers in Patreon, and Ghost can be used as a tool for providing content to those Patreon subscribers.

If you take a look at the link I sent it shows how the handlebars templating within Ghost can pull out key subscription information from a Stripe account. If they are managing their Patreon subscribers through Stripe then the Ghost site could read that subscription information and lock content depending on the Patreon subscription type. Signups would still continue to happen on Patreon, but people wanting to see Ghost content that they paid for could use their same email to sign into the Member site.

I hope that makes sense :slightly_smiling_face:

Hmm, okay.

[rummaging through my pockets to try and find enough change so I can pay somebody to put through a PR]

:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

p.s. Patreon sucks

p.p.s. Perhaps I should have added earlier on that all the posts within the “investigative journalism site in which the core posts themselves should not be placed behind a paywall” are actually open-sourced themselves, or rather, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0), hence the interest in something like Ghost and its possible possibilities, as well as the need to find a refined method to extend/expand funding methods :slightly_smiling_face:

It apparently looks like tiers will in fact be a thing:

:partying_face:

Sorry about the confusion. It’s not currently available in the beta, thanks for the feedback :slightly_smiling_face:

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