Welcome! I'm Simon Owens and this is my tech and media newsletter. If you've received it then you either subscribed or someone forwarded it to you. If you fit into the latter camp, then you can subscribe over here. Or just click on this handy little button:
For this week’s issue, I interviewed the publisher of a political opinion site who, faced with dwindling traffic, made a radical pivot in his business model. Let’s jump right into it.
Facebook decimated this publisher’s business. So it became a paid newsletter.
The Daily Banter once generated over 6 million visitors a month, with much of that traffic coming from Facebook. Then Facebook changed its Newsfeed algorithm, and its traffic dropped by 90 percent. [link]
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I have a secret Facebook group that’s only promoted to subscribers of this newsletter. I try to post exclusive commentary to it every day and have regular discussions with its members about the tech/media space. Go here to join. [link]
Medium has between 200,000 and 400,000 paying subscribers, which means it has an annual revenue run rate of between $10 million and $20 million. That's a pretty sizable editorial budget with which to lure content creators. [link]
IGTV, Instagram's spinoff video app, continues to be a dud. I still don't know what the value proposition is for creators, since there's no revenue shared. If there's no audience or money to be made, why bother? [link]
A fascinating profile of The View, which has become one of the most influential TV shows in politics. [link]
75% of today's kids aspire to be professional YouTubers, so it shouldn't be surprising that businesses are springing up that offer to cater to this desire. [link]
A digital media company like Vice "pivoting to television" is all well and good, but I just don't see it being a super scalable business with reliable revenue. Instead, you'll see waves of layoffs and revenue fluctuations as shows get greenlit and cancelled. [link]
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