Matter announces business model and premium pricing

Matter, the read-it-later app, announced their business model and premium pricing today. The free tier remains available, but they will begin charging for premium features incl. highlighting, notetaking and integrations starting Jan 15. Premium is $60/year.

More info here:


I assume, sync to Readwise is part of the premium feature ?

Worth every penny. I subscribed to the patreon. Love everything about the app, especially being able to send long form articles to my Kindle. They also added a feature where you a select multiple articles to send to your Kindle as a book with each article as a chapter. When I’ve saved multiple articles about a subject, that’s a great way to consume information about a topic. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next!


I’ve never used the app, but it sure does seem like a crowded market. Anyone care to share why they use this over other reading apps?

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Wonder what the free version will offer and if the features I use will be premium

My brain has officially exploded. Which apps is Matter competing with?, Instapaper etc? Or Readwise? (which I was thinking of taking a look at). Or both? I need a different app to keep track of all these apps :confused:

I’ve been loving Matter but have been thinking about moving to Readwise. I think with this new pricing model I may as well give Readwise and Readwise Reader a go.

Readwise is $96/year (more if you pay monthly). I don’t know what Matter did so can’t comment on the different functionality between the two apps, but Readwise’s new reading app (Reader) is about to come out of private beta and can handle different file types (including now time-synced transcripts of YouTube videos so you can make notes as you watch :exploding_head::exploding_head:). To be honest I mostly like it for pulling my newsletters into the same place as my web articles. Life-changing.

I got an email from Matter today:

How will Matter make money?

That’s a question we get asked a lot, and reasonably so. People want clarity when they adopt a new tool, especially when they’ll be investing in it over time.

Today, we’ll finally answer that question.

And as part of the answer, we’re excited to introduce our Patron membership, a special offer for our early supporters.


  • Starting January 15, 2023, Matter will begin charging for premium features.

  • There will continue to be a free option consisting of the basic read-it-later features.

  • Today, you can become a Patron, which comes with 3 years of premium access.

In a moment, we’ll share details about the Premium subscription and Patron membership. First, though, a few words on how we think about our business model.

Charging directly > Ads

Our mission is to increase the reach of ideas that matter by building the best reading software in the world.

Building quality software is hard. It takes skill, taste, and a surprising degree of grit. How closely we hit the mark is ultimately for you, our users, to judge. What we can say is that quality is our highest calling.

Shipping quality over the long term requires a business model that aligns economic success with commitment to craft.

Ads – the standard business model for the previous generation of reading/media products – smuggle in bad incentives. When revenue is a function of impressions, it becomes harder to justify sweating details (“will refining this interaction really increase engagement?”) and easier to justify engagement hacks that degrade the experience (“let’s send more push notifications”).

That’s why it’s always been our plan to charge directly. Charging for our product is simple, honest, and lets us put all our energy into building something you love and value.

Free & Premium: The details

We’ve decided to offer a free version of Matter. Why? We want Matter to be the on-ramp of choice for the millions of readers who are new to read-it-later. Since there are free read-it-later alternatives, we think it makes sense to price match (free!) on this basic feature set.

Matter Premium will cost $8/month or $60/year and will include features that go beyond the basics: HD text-to-speech, fluid highlighting and note-taking, integrations, full-text search, options to personalize Matter, priority support, and more.

The Patron Membership

To honor our earliest and best supporters, invest in our ongoing relationship with them, and ring in the holidays with a gift, we’ve created the Patron membership, limited to the first 1,000 users who claim it.

You can become a Patron member here.

Becoming a Patron is $150 and includes:

  • 3 years of Matter Premium (48% discount)

  • Access to a community Slack with the Matter team and other patrons

  • Special app icon, sticker, and Words are my matter coffee mug

Most importantly, as a Patron you cement a special relationship with Matter — the team, product, and company — and express your commitment to its long term flourishing.

In 20, 30, 50 years, we don’t want Matter to merely exist. We want it to be dramatically better than it is today, helping hundreds of millions of people develop better models of the world through reading. As a Patron, you cast a vote for that future.

Thank you for joining us,
The Matter Team

I almost spit out my coffee on “special relationship”. I’ve never seen a company overstate things the way this one does. They highlight features that are table stakes as far as reading apps go. That alone makes it a hard pass for me…

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Oh I’d hardly call a Slack channel and an app icon “table stakes” :wink: