Episode 95

Marko Saric of Plausible Analytics, the most popular Open Source analytics platform


October 18th, 2021

43 mins 26 secs

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About this Episode


Marko Saric


Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. We hope you are as excited as we are to have as our guest today Marko Saric, who is the Co-Founder of Plausible Analytics, which is an open source and privacy friendly alternative to Google Analytics. If you’ve never heard about Plausible Analytics, then this is your episode to learn all about it. With over 4,000 subscribers in the past year, Marko tells us what they’ve done to get people to convert. He also gives us his perspective on how he sees the business surviving in the next ten years, what his future game plan is, and why it’s so important that Plausible Analytics is open source. Download this episode now to learn so much more from Marko!

[00:01:33] Marko tells us what he does as one of the Co-Founders, how long Plausible Analytics has been around, and how many subscribers they have.

[00:03:57] Justin asks Marko how he handles the bots and how much of a threat are they in terms of making sure that they don’t mess up someone’s expectations in terms of traffic.

[00:06:15] We find out how Justin found Marko which was from a blog post he wrote and Justin wonders how this issue has converted people that are so Google dependent in terms of Google Analytics to turn over to a paid service like this, and how the shift has been since he was brought on board.

[00:10:25] Eric wonders what’s to prevent developers from adding blockers to this system and is there a reason why they would or would not.

[00:17:59] Marko tells us how he sees his business surviving in the next ten years, and if he sees any big plans that he is trying to push to make it so there is that harmony between advertisers and the consumers.

[00:24:12] Richard wonders what Marko’s game plan in twenty-five years, where he wants to go in the future, and how to build a more sustainable web for everyone.

[00:27:46] Does Marko see Plausible Analytics staying independent or possibly joining a company?

[00:30:40] Justin shares a conspiracy theory about what he thinks Brave is doing to Plausible Analytics and Marko shares his thoughts.

[00:32:59] Richard asks Marko why it’s important that Plausible is open source.

[00:35:29] Marko tells us if he’s worried about people taking the code and just running another “Pausable” Analytics as a fork.


[00:13:14] “My thinking is let’s try to make the devs better by getting website owners to use better tools for people that use ad blockers - the fact is still that most people don’t use ad blockers.”

[00:15:01] “There’s a huge disconnect between people, like all of us here in the chat and the more kind of normal dev user.”

[00:22:04] “If you actually give your vote and say no, or no to this and yes to that, you’re actually voting to make a change.”

[00:22:14] “That’s one of the main Key Performance Indicators these days in companies is how many people are saying yes or no to that little banner we have on our sites.”

[00:22:23] “I’m going to take my three seconds to click on options and then scroll down and click on reject because I know that it makes a difference.”

[00:24:35] “Yeah, I mean GDPR was a great first step and I think if there can be something similar, but actually just going off to the personal data.”

[00:24:48] “Many websites that I visit, the newspapers and so on, they will live from the ads.”

[00:25:00] “I understand that there is a need for ads while that is the main monetization method of the web.”

[00:26:15] “A few weeks ago, Ethical Ads installed Plausible and they wrote a blog post about it and I was like, “Perfect!”

[00:27:19] “You can find people doing studies on their own website, and like personal ads versus contextual ads, they’re seeing no difference in terms of effectiveness or in the kind of income they get or the conversion rate or whatever.”

[00:27:34] “You can actually do good business, both as a publisher but also as an advertiser, just by talking to people contextually or whatever other way they can find out that’s not really necessary as part of surveillance capitalism.”

[00:28:45] “We just do our own thing and try to kind of do our own little sustainable business.”

[00:33:19] “If you’re not open source and you’re talking about privacy first you will probably be excluded from the conversation. People will not take you serious.”

[00:33:58] “And if you’re proprietary, a lot of people with technical knowledge and people really deep into this would not trust us because we’re just saying things. We don’t know who you are. Why would we trust you?”

[00:35:08] “I gotta trust that by being open source and having so many eyeballs on it at least if there some kind of sketchy going on or whatever, somebody will kind of flag it.”

[00:35:40] “I was completely new to all this licensed system. I had no idea I was using WordPress and stuff.”

[00:36:29] “And I was like, again, I was new to the open since I had no idea that this is how it can work, that they will just upfront come to us and tell us, we don’t want to do anything to help you, but can you please do something so it helps us so we can kind of complete video and we have tens of thousands more of audience?”

[00:37:47] “And we ended up with AGPL and we felt this was a great kind of license for our own situation.”

[00:38:41] “Honestly from our perspective, like if we want to make this a thing that could become sustainable in the future, pay our own bills so we can focus on it full-time and then hopefully make a difference.”

[00:39:32] “I know that my Co-Founder says that if you’re doing like a database and things for developers, you probably want to be MIT because then other companies can use other projects. But I would say if you’re coming from my perspective, as somebody who has to communicate the message and kind of differentiate ourselves and try to compete with what else is on the market, I was like, if you’re going to sell to consumers and other businesses, like it’s going to be really difficult to survive it in IT.”

[00:39:57] “Again, as a beginner there are MIT licenses that have worked very well and they’re sustainable, but I just don’t know how I would compete with a bigger company.”


  • [00:40:31] Eric’s spotlight is a newsletter he signed up for called Console.dev.
  • [00:40:54] Justin’s spotlight is a great read, “Developer, You May Need a Co-Founder in Marketing,” by Rauno Metsa, Microfounder of MicroFounder.
  • [00:41:30] Richard’s spotlight is Andre Greig, a Scottish poet and his book called, Getting Higher: The Complete Mountain Poems.
  • [00:41:44] Marko’s spotlights are Linux, Firefox, and WordPress.



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