#130 — A glance back at the year we will all remember

It's here, you knew it was coming — the time of year when everyone does a roundup of the past year and predictions for the year that follows. There's a lot to unpack, so we'll be sharing the highlights in the next couple of newsletters. How has this year impacted your

💯 Top picks

From direct-to-consumer to direct-to-believers

“Your competition isn’t limited to other organizations that also do news. Your competition is what your true believer spends her time doing instead of reading your Very Important Article.” — Rishad Patel

💸 Business models

A guide to brand positioning

Find out how Harry Dry of Marketing Examples approaches brand positioning. "Differentiation is not a dark art. It's something you can learn. Here’s how you can achieve it."

Substack isn’t a new model for journalism — it’s a very old one

"If Substack’s pricing precludes widespread distribution of its news and commentary, its value as a public service won’t be fully realized."

Digital subscriptions were the headline act in 2020, as we experienced several years worth of transformation in the space of months.

How Wired leveraged Cyber Week readers to increase subscription revenue

"Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which has been stretched into a Cyber Week this year) were expected to be bountiful for Wired’s affiliate e-commerce business. But that rising tide has lifted its subscription fortunes as well."

✍️ Modern journalism

Patch digital news company is profitable. Is it the future of local news?

"Perhaps you’ve read that the future of media is in peril. But that’s probably overstating the case. A few big, national publishers, like the New York Times, are doing fine, via some combination of a successful business model and/or a billionaire owner."

9 highlights from Media Moments 2020

"What’s New in Publishing’s annual Media Moments report, sponsored by Permutive and written by the Media Voices team, rounds up all the key events and trends that have shaped the publishing and media landscape this year."

The rise of the journalist-influencer

"Forgive me if this sounds like a case of the hammer seeing everything come up nails, but as someone who covers the creator economy by day, I’ve noticed that the difference between influencers, creators, and journalists seems to shrink every time I look." — Mark Stenberg

Why digital newsrooms should act like e-commerce

"Even though you're a news publisher and your journalism is core to what you do, you are, at the end of the day, selling that journalism," said Adams Harding, Google's director of analytics and revenue optimization for news and publishing, on the Digiday Podcast.

💻 Technology

Email image deliverability & experience: What you need to know

Tips for how to provide a better email experience.

The state of podcasting, in 9 charts

Podcasts are growing in popularity, with predictions that podcast advertising will grow by 14.7% this year.

🤷 WTF?

[Essay] Magic and the Machine — David Abram

Reflecting on our undying urge to recreate a primal experience of intimacy with the surrounding world, David Abram offers notes on technology and animism in an age of ecological wipeout.

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