02 Dec The Newsletter Economy
The Innovation in Media World Report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the key technological paradigms that publishers need to navigate in order to keep their businesses relevant and thriving in the years ahead. The book is now available available to purchase.
In these heady times of product innovation, subscriber battles and the pivot to reader revenue, the media world is awash with shiny new technologies and avenues that promise to be the next big thing. You might have heard of NFTs, AI driven paywalls, synthetic text-to-audio features and personalised apps (don’t fret: we write about all of those in this book as well!). Oh, and you may also have heard that the world’s most famous publisher simply acquired the internet’s hottest word game. Because engagement.
And yet, amidst all of the competition, one tool in the publisher’s arsenal stands tall, boasting not one but many superpowers. It can:
Build direct, intimate relationships with readers
Build habits, drive traffic and monetise relationships
Be a key driver for collecting first-party data insights
Be adaptable in content and format, such that A/B testing is a dream
Be tailored to deliver specific content to niche audience segments
Give your star writers a new lease of life, or a shiny new project
Pair well as a companion to your podcasts and other new storytelling ventures
Be the foundation for an entire business model (if done right)
Welcome to the new newsletter economy. It’s the old medium that never quite went away, the publisher’s swiss army knife that keeps adding blades. “The great survivors” is how Sarah Ebner, head of newsletters at Financial Times, describes them, pointing out that they keep working because the reader has specifically signed up to read what you’re offering.
All the way back in 2014, the renowned media columnist David Carr mused that despite many predictions to the contrary, the death of the email newsletter was greatly exaggerated. “How can that be?” he asks. “With social media, mobile apps and dynamic websites that practically stalk the reader, how can something that sometimes gets caught in a spam filter really be taking off?”