What I find interesting about this summary is that Morning Brew, like many other newsletter companies, covers all aspects of a successful media business.
First of all, there’s a large audience. 2.5 million people is not much compared to billions of registered users on social media, but easily surpasses the print circulation of newspapers.
Then there’s engagement. Open rates have been in the 40-50% range for Morning Brew historically, meaning they have many loyal readers who also interact with the publication on social channels, through quizzes or replies to the newsletter.
And finally, Morning Brew is able to monetize successfully, in their case through native ads and sponsoring.
The combination is what makes Morning Brew and other newsletters appealing to investors. A media business that has demonstrated that it can attract a large audience, turn it into loyal long-term readers, and monetize it, is valuable.
A weakness in any of the three aspects makes a media business much less valuable. That could be an audience that is too small, low engagement and high churn, or questions around monetization as is the case for Quartz.
While these larger newsletter acquisitions have made the news, there are also many examples of smaller newsletters being sold. And the dynamics don’t look all that different, even though at a much smaller scale.
11.500+ subscribers, open rate is 15-25%, CTR 12-20%
Without really chasing sales I’ve made about $6500 with sponsored placements (top link in a newsletter edition), in the past 6 months. Much more potential when you actively reach out and collaborate with other companies.
The exact deal terms weren’t disclosed but were probably somewhere around $15.000 according to this account
of the new owner, Andrew.
And there are many more examples including Chris Osborne who has already created and sold four newsletters
: FoundersGrid, DailyNames, NewKeys and CryptoWeekly (and is now offering a course on how to do it).
We’re even at the point where marketplaces for buying and selling newsletters are springing up. Both Duuce
were created recently and have a few newsletters on offer.