I find the bottom portion of the intro (beginning with “And, if you want a daily…”) to be very interesting.
Axios is a media and entertainment startup that launched a couple years ago with a unique strategy centered around email newsletters (I love the email newsletter medium, in case that was unclear). At launch, they brought together many of the top email newsletter publishers (individuals, not companies) into one organization. The first was Dan Primack of former Term Sheet fame, then quickly followed by Bill Bishop who writes the acclaimed Sinocism China newsletter.
The interesting thing to me is that Bill didn’t stop writing his own newsletter when he joined Axios. So he continues to publish Sinocism China daily, in addition to his duties publishing Axios China every week.
This is an interesting and unique strategy. Axios allows Bill to promote his own newsletter at the top of Axios China, and I’m assuming Axios China gets additional reach from Bill’s existing readership.
This is in contrast to the way that most publishers operate. Typically a publisher cares about the promotion of its own brand above that of any individual contributor. But Axios empowers Bill, Dan, and many others to continue building their own brand in parallel to helping to build Axios. I love that idea.
If you think about the rest of the media and entertainment business, this approach runs in direct opposition to the way things normally work. Take musicians for example. The big labels control the industry and take most of the profits, while individual artists are often taken advantage of and spit out by the system. Can you imagine a world wherein an artist could use the resources of a label to promote their own music without a label getting a cut of those sales? Unfathomable!
The same is true in sports wherein most athletes shortly go broke shortly after their careers while owners and GMs continue to clean up.
How fantastic would it be if Axios represents the beginning of a trend toward decentralization in media and entertainment, if creators were fully empowered to flourish without having their legs cut out from under them by corporate interests?
I’d love to live in that world!