How Harvard Business Review generated 2.5 million newsletter signups

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:

Hello! So for the past few months I’ve had one of those “good” problems in which I’ve been so busy with my freelance work that I haven’t had time to work on podcasts and articles for this newsletter.

Why don’t I just link to my freelance work here? Because most of it doesn’t really align with this newsletter’s subject matter. But occasionally someone does actually pay me to write about the intersection of tech and media, which is why I have two fresh articles for you to consume. Let’s jump right into it.

How Harvard Business Review generated 2.5 million newsletter signups

“Looking around the media world at the time, the value proposition presented to people to get them to give up their email address was pretty thin. A lot of times media sites just weren't even making it clear what you got and why you would even want to register.” [link]

Launching a journalism startup? How do you choose between nonprofit and for-profit status?

I interviewed several experts who regularly advise media startups about the calculus that goes into deciding whether your media organization should go the for-profit route or establish itself as a nonprofit. The decision is a lot more complicated than you might think. [link]

Want to interact with me directly?

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]

Other news:

Because most YouTube views don't come within the first 24 hours of posting, you're seeing more publishers shift their efforts from short “newsy” videos to longer, more highly produced documentaries that are focused on evergreen topics. [link]

In many respects, Tavi Gevinson was the first teen influencer before such a thing existed, before Instagram even existed. She ruminates here about what it was like to be one of the first famous teens online. [link]

8% of Bloomberg's paying subscribers come from Apple News. That seems...not insignificant. [link]

I want to read a really long deep dive on Casey Neistat's 368. Is it just a vanity project? Is it really making money? What's its longterm business model? I was hoping he'd reveal these things on his YouTube channel but he's been mostly silent. [link]

The internet has finally disrupted the September issue of fashion magazines. [link]

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