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Newsletters as a subscription hook are now a core offering: The Media Roundup

Newsletters as a subscription hook are now a core offering

A Media Operator’s Jacob Donnelly’s latest places newsletters firmly at the centre of the modern publishing portfolio.

The best driver of paid subscriptions isn’t social media or SEO… No, the best driver for a paid subscription is email.

But rather than simply see newsletters as a driver for revenue elsewhere, Jacob highlights media companies developing newsletters as discrete products, subscription-worthy in their own right.

He looks particularly at the personality-led newsletters in the New York Times paid-for newsletter stable and points out that publishers don’t need rock stars to succeed. Instead they need multiple newsletters serving a subset of their audience.

If you have someone on staff that people resonate with, their thoughts rather than reporting might be what gets someone to become a paying subscriber.

Creating customer-centric revenue models

One of the big stories of the pandemic has been the subscriptions bounce. Brands big and small are looking to hone their product offerings and get pricing strategy right for long-term sustainable growth. This overview of a FIPP DTC session features Matt Lindsay from Mather Economics and Abi Spooner from Dennis talking about this customer-centric balancing act.

The biggest digital media company you’ve never heard of

Red Ventures? Nope? I hadn’t heard of them either, but The New York Times’ media man Ben Smith has the skinny. TLDR: Red Ventures has 4,500-employees, annual revenue of about $2 billion, and is worth about $11 billion. Its properties – Lonely Planet, CNET, ZDNet and Healthline media – are leaders in “intent-based media”, guiding people looking to spend money in a particular area and taking a cut when they buy.

Bad News – Selling the story of disinformation

If you have the time, and the mental resilience, this long form piece from Harper’s is a bleak but fascinating look at the state of the ‘disinformation ecosystem’, ‘toxicity’ on social-media platforms, the downstream effects of its spread, and the platforms’ ‘clumsy, dishonest, and half-hearted attempts to halt it’.


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