Substack has announced that there are more than 1 million paid subscriptions to the newsletters on its platform. That’s up a staggering 750,000 from last December and that kind of growth is a big boost to the creator-evangelists saying people will pay for content published directly by writers they rate.
We’ve highlighted instances of publishing brands like The Atlantic fighting back with their own newsletter offerings, but it would be a curmudgeonly publisher that didn’t give Substack credit for growing the reader-funded newsletter space.
“These are subscriptions that didn’t exist before”, wrote Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie in his million-subscription announcement. “They represent a rush of new money into the media ecosystem, the vast majority of it going directly to writers.”
We take a look at the pros and cons of breaking Big Tech’s stranglehold on the digital advertising markets. With digtal ad spend in the US up almost 40% and set to exceed $200 billion, you would think publishers would be celebrating. But 64% of that will go to Google, Facebook and Amazon in the US and 80% in the UK, and the calls to tackle the monopoly are getting louder.
Newsquest is to stop printing The National, its weekly newspaper for Wales. After seven months in print the focus will now shift to growing the publication’s digital subscriber base. The National was initially seen as a digital project, but a strong response to early pop-up print editions led to thirty-three weeklies being printed before Newsquest shifted back to online only.
The team at the National in Wales might find the latest research from the Missouri School of Journalism interesting. The team there fear print newspapers moved to digital without understanding how readers use contextual clues to make sense of the news online. They’re offering advice on building trust with readers by using eight useful cues, from flagging story genres and age to signposting interactivity.
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