This indie newsletter generated over 10,000 paying subscribers

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:

In this week’s issue, we discuss the recent offer Amazon made to major publishers to entice them into opening up foreign bureaus. Somewhat related, I also wrote about one of the biggest mistakes publishers made in handing over power to Facebook and Twitter. Finally, I interviewed the creator of a newsletters that has 10,000 subscribers paying between $20 and $49 a year. Let’s jump right into it...

Should news publishers get in bed with Amazon?

Amazon has offered several publishers like BuzzFeed and The New York Times upfront payments for them to expand their product recommendation verticals into foreign countries. Should they take the money? [link]

Publishers that closed their comments sections made a colossal mistake

When it comes to unforced errors, the decision many publishers made to close down their comment sections should be considered one of the industry’s worst blunders. [link]

This indie newsletter generated over 10,000 paying subscribers

BuzzFeed recently reported that the 12 top writers on Substack make over $160,000 a year each. This week, I interviewed one of those writers: Robert Cottrell. [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:

This is the first place I've seen it reported that 40% of Hulu subscribers spring for the more expensive ad-free version. That's a lot higher percentage than I would have thought. [link]

"Arc powers 'around 175' different websites today, which reach a combined 600 million unique users around the world, up from 500 million last year" [link]

More and more publishers are pivoting to episodic series on YouTube. Why? Repeatable, easily-recognizable formats cater to binge-watching. [link]

"More than half of the top 50 shows on Netflix are made by media companies planning to launch rival streaming services." [link]

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