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“We are witnessing the emergence of a new media economy”: Newsletters are opening new avenues of growth for publishers

What's New in Publishing 30 Jul 2020 08:32

Journalism is witnessing the rise of a new business model. Some journalists who launched their own newsletters in recent years have found that they can generate significant revenues through subscriptions. 

“Revolutionary change to the business model”

Many of them, working through the newsletter platform Substack, are reporting incomes on par with what they earned in their day jobs. China expert Bill Bishop and the liberal political writer Judd Legum are among the most successful journalists on the platform. 

They are earning well into six figures annually through the newsletters they send to their subscribers, reports NYTimes’ Media Columnist, Ben Smith. Journalist Luke O’Neil, who has written for Esquire and The Guardian among other top publications, told Digiday’s Steven Perlberg, that he is expecting to gross more than $100,000 annually for his newsletter Hell World

I just need a few thousand people, and it’s a good model. The one where you really need everyone is the ad model where you’ve got to constantly fight for more and more clicks. Because you start every day out basically at zero.

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SubstackChris Best
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