Here’s a fun breakdown from Simon Owens about Twitter’s disproportionate role in driving newsletter subscriptions. Useful for any individual or organisation looking to boost subs this year - and given that it’s just been Axios’ fifth birthday, with its success predicated almost entirely on its newsletters alone, the more we examine the channels that lead to sign-ups the better.
Among Owen’s findings: “I’ve also long believed that Twitter plays an outsized role in content discovery that isn’t necessarily reflected in website analytics. Whenever an article takes off on platforms like Facebook and Reddit, it’s usually because it first caught fire on Twitter. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if most newsletter writers who end up sharing my articles first discovered them in their own Twitter feeds.”
He also notes that most individual journalists (and we can extrapolate most major news orgs from that too) don’t do enough to boost their evergreen content on Twitter, which can also lead to more subscriptions uptake. With Twitter’s newfound focus on newsletters, it’s worth ensuring we get these strategies right. Oh, by the way, if you feel like forwarding this email on to someone you think might like it - please do!
From our Media Moments 2021 report: Having had their fingers burned, publishers’ video ambitions were scaled back last year. Despite that, short form video continued to perform well among audiences, and the platforms that specialised in it have continued to rise in prominence. The year began with media companies tentatively dipping their toes back in the water, this time with a better plan in mind than “let Facebook take care of it”, but by the end of the year the conversation had moved on a lot.
DuckDuckGo has been around for years but I’ve practically never heard news orgs mention it, given Google’s dominance over search. But even if publishers don’t need a DuckDuckGo strategy yet, its growing popularity might still influence Google to include better privacy options - and that will impact publishers.
I wondered about the fate of these titles after they weren’t included in Dennis’ acquisition by Future. While they don’t all have the ecommerce opportunities of that wider portfolio, these magazines all have strong communities built around them - and community is at a premium in 2022.
This week's podcast:
We’re releasing the first episode of 2022 on Jan 17th; a special looking at local news start-ups in the US and what they need to become sustainable. In the meantime, here’s a throwback from last year:
In this throwback episode we hear from Chris Duncan, CEO of UK Publishing at Bauer Media Group. He talks about what it’s been like leading Bauer through such a turbulent year, their wins and losses throughout the pandemic, and which trends he saw accelerated in the business over the course of the pandemic.
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