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Substack invests in… podcasts: The Media Roundup

Substack makes first major podcast investment

Surprise surprise, Substack has looked at the podcast industry – where the gap between ad revenue and time spent with the medium is enormous – and the $ signs have lit up. As a result, it’s funding the launch of a new podcast network called Booksmart Studios.

Shows will be available everywhere, but paid subscribers will get access to extra content. A number of podcasters have been paid six-figure advances to launch the service.

But of most interest is its investment in tools to get audio directly into your inbox. Substack is one of the few email platforms that supports uploading MP3s or even recording audio directly into a newsletter. This opens some very interesting doors for podcasters and publishers alike in terms of building podcast listenership and communities via email.

Subscription pricing strategies for publishers: Data, long-term view, lots of tests and risk-taking

Another great piece from The Fix on some of the key lessons from the INMA’s Subscription Pricing report. It looks at the three methods publishers use to keep subscribers engaged – and stay subscribed – along with some case studies of these techniques put into practice.

Newspaper ad spending surges, while magazines lag

Over in the US, newspapers are benefitting from a boom in advertising, with spend jumping 60% last month. However, the picture isn’t quite as rosy for magazines. Spending slipped 3% from a year earlier in June, but that’s much improved from the 20% declines in both April and May. As people begin to settle back into (new) ‘normal’ life again, it’s inevitable that ad spend will fluctuate over the coming months.

FT editor among 180 journalists identified by clients of spyware firm

This explosive piece from the weekend will almost certainly have further ramifications over the coming weeks. To get you up to speed, a data leak and forensics suggest that a surveillance tool from the NSO Group was used against journalists at some of the world’s top media companies. Let’s hope they appreciated the puppy pictures in the Media Voices group chat…

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