Digital Publishing Reader Revenue
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Defector is profitable in Y2, with almost every dollar coming from readers: The Media Roundup

Defector’s most successful promo email was too “creepy” to repeat

The headline for this really buries the lede. The actual story here is that Defector – the employee-owned sports and culture website founded by former Deadspin staffers – has had a really good year.

The publisher has released a candid annual report showing that they brought in $3.8 million, with almost every dollar of that coming from readers. More impressively, they are profitable this year, with operating expenses totalling $3.7 million.

If this story is of interest to you, I can also recommend AdWeek’s explainer about how Defector turned its hit podcast Normal Gossip into a 10% bump in digital subscribers. It’s great to see how much this start-up is thriving with the support of its readers.

More Americans are getting news on TikTok, bucking social media trend

The share of U.S. adults who say they regularly get news from TikTok has roughly tripled from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022. This reminds me of a very important point Mark Stenberg made in our latest podcast episode: people say they ‘get’ news on social media, but what they actually mean in many cases is that they come across news on those platforms rather than actively seeking it. When they want to be more informed, they turn to trusted outlets.

“One of the biggest drivers of publisher growth”: How to ace A/B testing

A new report, “The publisher’s guide to A/B testing” from Digiday and Piano presents an overview of the critical aspects of A/B testing and suggests tactics for success. Some nice ideas here from less obvious case study candidates.

Newsletters are finally growing up: how publisher email strategies evolved in 2022

One of the oldest digital delivery systems of all has continued to dominate industry headlines in 2022 as publishers rethink the way they work with email newsletters. This week we’re joined by Adweek’s Senior Media Reporter Mark Stenberg to explore newsletter trends, from worldwide readership to how creators are driving publisher strategies.


This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: