Digital Publishing Reader Revenue
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Local business newsletter netting $175,000 in annual revenue: The Media Roundup

Tony Mecia’s Charlotte Ledger newsletter on pace for $175,000 in annual revenue

Local business newsletter The Charlotte Ledger now generates around $12,500 in monthly recurring revenue from its 2,000 paid subscribers, according to founder Tony Mecia. That’s about $150,000 a year.

We’ve been debating the future of local news and whether email is an effective vehicle for it on a couple of recent episodes. This demonstrates that not only can it work, but it can actually be incredibly effective. Paid subscribers are currently growing at around 50-80 a month, and open rates for the paid list are around 60%.

Tony Mecia's Charlotte Ledger newsletter on pace for $175,000 in annual revenue

The takeaway quote from this is almost word-for-word what Peter said to Chris and I on our weekly call yesterday. “I have no growth hacks; it’s about doing the little things right consistently,” said Mecia. Here’s to consistency, and the little things.

“We knew there was a rabid group of readers:” 9 months after launching, Defector nears 40k subscribers

New from us: within 24 hours of announcing the project last July, Defector had 10,000 paid subscriptions. Now just nine months after launching the website, it has 39,000 paying subscribers; an admirable total for a start-up. Jasper Wang talks about setting a pricing strategy, the practicalities of employee ownership, and whether other outlets could replicate its success.

Eight ways to make audio pay in smaller newsrooms

Podcast revenue is not limited to just ads: you can also monetise content through collaboration, sponsorship, donations and many other tactics. Here is a list of practical tips from Damian Radcliffe for smaller publishers looking to get into podcasting and other audio products.

Boring news cycle deals blow to partisan media

In the months since former President Donald Trump left office, media companies’ readership numbers are plunging — and publishers that rely on partisan, ideological warfare have taken an especially big hit. I know a lot of publishers have been worried about a ‘Trump slump’, but honestly if you’re an outlet ‘dependent on controversy to stir up resentments’ and have been hugely affected by this, you need to sit and have a little think.

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