Thomas Baekdal thinks we’ll see a dip in subscriptions.
His case: Since the pandemic hit, people subscribe to newsletters, magazines, and newspapers out of necessity rather than desire. People want to know how Covid-related statistics will impact them, hence, a shift in a person’s desire to subscribe to news newsletters.
In this article, Thomas challenges publishers to think not just about churn rates, but loyalty rates as well. He delivers his theories with practical methods and diagrams. It’s worth considering.
This article from the American Press Institute dives into 9 retention strategies you might want to consider.
Want a little insight?
Related: Check out an article and short video about how Philly and Boston Magazines pivoted to a reader revenue model
Freelance writing has never been for the faint of heart, but add the cost of liability insurance, risk levels, and sue-happy culture, and you really better buckle in.
Michael Balter, a freelance science journalist, is being sued for defamation (you could say he’s having more than a bad day), and he’s just one example.
Questions I don’t know the answers to: Are news publications at fault for failing to protect their freelancers? Should freelancers take it upon themselves and their investigative abilities to stay legally safe? Is journalism suffering because of this?
“Balter’s case, whatever its outcome may be, could add to freelancers’ hesitancy in taking on investigative work, if they feel unsupported by their publication. And there is a wider trend in the news media industry of publications pawning the risk of reporting off on freelancers—while denying them the protections they need to be able to assume that risk. At the same time, freelancers compose a significant proportion of journalists.”
Where do you stand?
...but that actually is one reason some people continue to subscribe. Neiman Labs breaks down a recent study of the persistence of print.
Related: Read this Boston Herald op ed about why the internet isn't killing journalism — journalists are.
Also Related? Learn why two top Wired.com staffers resigned, citing ‘burnout’ and ‘exhaustion’.
The Telegraph’s CEO Nick Hugh reveals how subscription growth is securing the future of the 165-year-old newspaper title.
“‘This shift towards subscribers will continue and in fact in 2021, two things are likely to happen,’ he says. ‘The first is the majority of our revenue is going to come from subscribers and the second is digital subscription revenues will be higher than all ad revenue. That will be a first for us and potentially the industry.’”
Newsletters are a big part of that plan.
“Hugh continues to target 1m paying subscribers and 10m registered users – who must sign up with an email to receive free access to limited content – by 2023. He says a subscription model is ‘far less susceptible’ to market shocks, such as Covid-19, adding: ‘It’s much easier therefore to forecast.’”
Check out these 7 tips. My favorite is number 4:
“Even big newsletters start small.”
Kinda Related: These newspaper newsletters launched recently: Desert Sun newsletters for Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage and Coachella.
Business by the Bay was chosen in a reader survey. I love that they brought readers along for the journey by bringing them into the name selection process.
“‘Newsletter subscribers find a lot of value in a digestible, consumable newsletter that serves as an overview but is also useful in that you can still learn more,’ she said. ‘A lot of them felt they knew me better because I land in their inbox and I had gained their trust—something that legacy news organizations always talked about having issues with.’”
Discovered via Not a Newsletter.
Named after a late 2020 protest of new agricultural laws during which hundreds of thousands of farmers in India lined up in their tractor trolleys outside of the national capital of Delhi, this newsletter now serves as a reliable news source for the farmers.