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The problem with the “riches in niches” philosophy: The Media Roundup

The rich niche: Publishing is thriving so long as you cater to the affluent

The last few years has demonstrated that there are “riches in niches” (yes…it doesn’t rhyme in British English, but moving on…!) Generalised scale plays have largely struggled to effectively monetise audiences, while those that have gone narrow and deep are doing pretty well for themselves.

In this week’s issue of his newsletter, Brian Morrissey looks at how publishers, whilst carving out their niche, end up defaulting to catering to rich elites. This is problematic because, as he points out, “The biggest challenges facing societies in the future – climate change, inequality, migration – all disproportionately affect the non-rich. It’s hard to see how trust in news can be reversed if much of it is directed towards and caters to the rich.”

Morrissey wants to see new monetisation models emerge that “strike the balance between broad access and sustainable economics” in more than just non-profit organisations. It’s something the founders of the four local news start-ups spoke about too in last week’s special podcast: the need to keep vital information free for all, but trying to build out membership schemes and other revenue streams to sustain them.

Q&A: Uproot Project’s Monica Samayoa on climate coverage by and for communities of colour

On a related note…! This Q&A from CJR’s Covering Climate Now takes a look at the work of the Uproot Project, a network for environmental journalists of colour. They are aiming to bring a greater diversity of voices to the forefront of climate and environment stories, both by encouraging more journalists of colour to get interested in those beats, but also by supporting those already working on them to get their stories heard by bigger newsrooms.

Axios launches a premium subscription product aimed at the “dealmakers” among us

This perfectly illustrates the “riches in niches” philosophy. Axios, who have been absolute pros at niche newsletters for elite audiences, have just launched three premium newsletters covering fintech, health tech and retail, which you can subscribe to for $599 a year each. They’re also planning two more in media deals and climate deals (???) by the end of Q1.

Instagram launches early test of creator subscriptions in the US

To say Instagram has been slow off the mark here is an understatement. But then they’ve also only allowed linking out from Stories in the past few months. After Instagram’s announcement last week, TikTok made it known that they too are testing paid subscriptions. The fight to be the best platform for creators is heating up.


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