#61 — Email is important for publishers. So is retention!

Welcome to your weekly roundup of the most important stories in independent publishing. It was a busy news week, so this issue is packed full of great content.

💯 Top picks

The Facebook local news accelerator finds out what readers will actually pay for!

The Facebook local news accelerator launched to support 14 publishers in finding sustainable business models, with financial backing and the help of coaches and experts. One year in, the project shared this report of all of the things they’ve discovered so far, including:

  • Average conversion rate for email subscribers to paid is between 5-10%
  • Leading publishers aren’t seeing subscription fatigue
  • Retention is very important

Check out the full article for this weeks top read!

💸 Business models

The Guardian's membership editor functions as the "connective tissue" between supporters and the newsroom

Kyra Miller dives into how The Guardian’s membership team connects with readers and builds membership into its editorial flow, breaking it down into to challenges the publisher faces, their strategy, the numbers and lessons learnt. Published for Solution Set, a great weekly resource from The Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

The L.A. Times’ disappointing digital numbers show the game’s not just about drawing in subscribers — it’s about keeping them

“Digital subscriptions at the Los Angeles Times are way below expectations, and leadership, in a memo to staff, said the future of the paper could depend on solving the issue rapidly.”

The Athletic sports news site hits 500,000 subscribers

The sports news subscription product from The Athletic now has 500,000 paying subscribers, but expects to double this by the end of the year.

Stop sending emails to your inactive subscribers

Are you running an email newsletter? Word on the street is that you definitely should be. This in-depth article explains how to manage your email subscriber list effectively and provides tips for identifying inactive subscribers – and what to do about it!

✍️ Modern journalism

Journalists in Ukraine are using Telegram for effective engagement with their audience

Telegram was built for personal, security-driven private messaging. Recently publishers are increasingly using the app build communities and distribute content and news. In Ukraine, journalists are using the tool to connect with relevant audiences, while successfully increasing click-through rates and creating a better space for community.

Holloway aims to rewrite publishing with $4.6M from investors including the New York Times

“The goal is to democratise access to how the best are doing business today (and take on traditional publishing).”

Holloway has an ambitious mission: To share knowledge about business and startups, and make it available in communities that are growing, but where knowledge is hard to come by.

This week they launched a series of online books covering a variety of topics about startups and technology – and with a large investment from top tech investors and the NYT, they’re hoping to provide better resources for publishing businesses.

👩‍💻 Technology

Facebook’s $5 billion FTC fine is an embarrassing joke

This article provides some important perspective: Facebook’s $5 billion FTC fine is just one month of revenue for Facebook, their stock price is up and none of the new conditions will stop them from collecting data that feeds their lucrative ad business.

Wayback Machine now shows when a page was updated and what changed

The Wayback Machine has long been a popular tool for checking out what websites looked like in the past. Now it has new features to show what date a page changed as well as exactly what changed on it!

Spotify’s big bet on podcasts is starting to pay off

The company is experiencing huge growth in its podcast audience, as revealed in its earnings report. The number of people listening to podcasts on the platform has doubled since the start of the year, which has contributed to a 9% growth in premium subscribers.

Journalists on the ‘aha’ moments that changed the way they work

CJR interviewed a group of journalists to learn more about how they developed their approaches to writing, researching and all aspects of journalism. A very real article with some extremely interesting insights!

Adblocking: How about nah?

“The rise and rise of ad-blockers (and ad-blocker-blocker-blockers) is without parallel: 26% of Internet users are now blocking ads, and the figure is rising. It’s been called the biggest boycott in human history.”

🤷 WTF?

Why most marketing emails still use HTML tables

“How HTML helped, then hindered, the evolution of email, or why all those fancy marketing emails you get in your inbox still rely on HTML tables…”

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