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Vanity Fair-meets-Substack as the new media business model: The Media Roundup

Former Condé Nast Editor plans a Vanity Fair for the Substack Era

A new publication (yet to be named) from Vanity Fair veteran Jon Kelly aims to attract writers with a revenue-sharing plan. The project has private equity backing, and is described as ‘Vanity Fair meets Substack’.

Writers have been offered equity and a percentage of the subscription revenue they would generate. They would be able to have the best of both worlds; the (relative) security and structure of a traditional publisher but would also be able to reap the direct financial fruits of their work.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because Forbes announced something very similar back in January. Their newsletter platform launched with a revenue split deal with the writers, who were also full staff members.

Some publishers are waking up to the reality that their superstar writers will go solo if they don’t feel they’re being fairly remunerated. We doubt this new publication will be the last of its kind.

Substack will spend $1 million to support “up to 30” local news writers

Substack has announced the launch of Substack Local, a program to support a new group of up to 30 local news writers on the platform. The $1 million grant has the goal of fostering “an effective business model for independent local news that provides ample room for growth.”

How Law Insider monetized a massive database of legal documents

This is a really smart example of a publisher who understands what their core audience needs, knows how they go about finding it, and have navigated themselves to be just where they’re needed. Simon Owens does his usual intelligent questioning to dig deeper into the business model behind the ‘Shutterstock of contracts’.

TikTok funds first episodic public health series ‘VIRAL’ from NowThis

On the theme of platforms throwing money at good causes, TikTok is financially backing the production of a new series from publisher NowThis. The series will feature interviews with public health experts and a live Q&A session focused on answering questions about the pandemic. Supporting publishers and public health information? That’s a thumbs up from us.

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