#89 — Patreon vs your own indie website

Welcome to the 89th issue of this newsletter - thanks for all of your support so far! Business as usual this week, with the latest stories about independent publishing, technology and modern journalism.

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💯 Top picks

Real engagement metrics publishers are using to grow traffic, subscription and ad revenue

“The importance of reliable engagement metrics is increasing across the publishing industry.” – Find out how real publishers measure engagement to inform their strategy.

💸 Business models

Patreon vs your own site: Diversifying a membership business

Explore the pros and cons of platforms like Patreon and the same for running your own membership site, as well as some ideas for how you can utilise both together.

96% of companies say they're losing subscribers for fixable reasons

According to a new report, 93% of companies that rely on subscribers know that retaining existing customers is as important as acquiring them, and 96% feel they are losing subscribers for reasons they could solve. One of the biggest retention weaknesses across companies is having no clear strategies in place.

Monetising password sharing: what publishers can learn from Netflix

“Password sharing is something digital media companies such as Netflix have had to deal with for a long-time. That’s why it is surprising to see that a study of publishers by Digiday found that 76% do not take any special steps to stop subscribers from sharing their login info.”

How AI can help predict subscription cancellation and keep readers engaged

Algorithms can help predict the exact moment a reader is most likely to subscribe. An even deeper understanding of reader behaviour can also allow publishers to harness technology to keep people engaged for longer.

✍️ Modern journalism

Audio articles are helping news outlets gain loyal audiences

“How Harvard Business Review, The New Yorker, and The Economist use audio to boost reach and retention”.

Data-Driven Storytelling: How and why publishers use it

“What is Data Storytelling (Dashboards, and Spreadsheets, and Graphs. Oh my!)”

[Podcast] Paul Newman on multichannel publishing strategies

The Media Voices podcast catches up with brand director of Future plc’s home interest brands to discuss home titles, Pinterest and how they’ve managed to increase print circulation.

[Podcast] Time's Keith Grossman on building the brand after '10 years of neglect'

Keith Grossman speaks to the Digiday Podcast seven months into the job as president of Time: “It’s gone through, I would say, 10 years of neglect, through mismanagement, through transition of owners”…

Freelancers resist precarity by sharing rates and organising

“For many workers, openness about pay has helped to make conditions more equitable. Still, they fear retribution.”

How might we reimagine opinion journalism for our digital, polarised age? Reflections from news leaders

“In the age of social media, cable talk shows and fast-moving news cycles, what value does opinion journalism, including the opinion and editorial pages of newspaper publishing, bring to the lives of people in a community?”

Why brand extensions are a great starting point for publishers interested in eCommerce

Find out how BuzzFeed, Trusted Media Brands, Dennis Publishing, Pacific Content Magazines and Culture Trip use eCommerce products as brand extensions.

👩‍💻 Technology

“Big tech is watching you. Who’s watching big tech?” The Markup is finally ready for liftoff

“I’ve heard that we are tying our hands behind our backs, but there must be a way to engage an audience without subjecting readers to a surveillance ecosystem.”

85% of all U.S. digital advertising is programmatic

“Programmatic media buys now account for 85% of all digital ad spending, according to estimates released in a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.”

Add captions to your videos in minutes with this tool

A new tool called Subly aims to speed up transcriptions for online videos to under a few minutes. It’s useful for increasing engagement on publisher’s videos, especially when shared on social platforms.

🤷 WTF?

Find out exactly how much has happened in the days since you were born

This cool interactive info site allows you to plug in your birth date, and shares some cool facts about what’s happened since that date.

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