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“It took four years to reach 1 million subscribers, but only one more to reach 2 million”: How media brand 1440 took off
Impartial reporting was a core part of the discussion in our latest Conversations episode with Reuters this week. True impartiality is very difficult for publishers to achieve; after all we each have our natural biases which affect how we contextualise and present the facts.
For start-up US news brand 1440, their subscribers are testament to its neutral stance. Its readership is split evenly across the political spectrum, as well as coastal and rural geographies as well as gender. It credits its fast growth to delivering fact-focused content which is ‘as unbiased as humanly possible’ and avoiding clickbait and sensationalism.
There are a few start-ups I’ve seen appealing to readers in this way recently. News avoiders cannot avoid news forever, and they no doubt will welcome more outlets doing reporting which lowers the temperature and focuses on the facts, not on provoking an angry share for ad revenue.
I joined Charlotte Henry’s brilliant The Addition podcast this week to talk about the growth of newsletters, what’s next for them as a channel, whether people have hit peak newsletter yet and more. Oh, and of course we also chatted about the Publisher Newsletter Awards and why now is the time to recognise innovation and excellence in the space.
I didn’t realise the news tab had been live in the UK since early 2021. Having just done some digging I found it buried three quarters of the way down a sidebar below ‘Blood donations’ and ‘Emotional Health’ tabs. I can’t imagine how the tab is getting any traffic at all, which in turn will no doubt feed Meta’s line that news is of no value to them.
The podcast bundle has two origin stories. The first starts with die-hard podcast fans asking for bonus content, merch, and other ways to support their favourite show. The other emerged from NPR reading the tea leaves and seeing increased competition and consolidation in the audio space. Bonus content has been more effective at converting subscribers than ad-free episodes.
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