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How the Instagram-TikTok rivalry for creators has cooled
"While creators can re-upload their TikTok posts to Instagram as Reels, Instagram has told them that those posts, which are watermarked with TikTok’s logo, will not be featured on its Explore page" [link]
The Substackerati: Did a newsletter company create a more equitable media system—or replicate the flaws of the old one?
"In the first three months [of the pandemic], as hundreds of journalists lost their jobs, the number of active writers on Substack doubled and revenue increased by 60 percent." [link]
I shared a little more about how Substack is upending traditional media power dynamics in this Twitter thread. [link]
Can local news thrive on Substack?
Dozens of writers have shown by now that you can generate a sustainable living through Substack newsletters, but does this also apply to local news?
That’s a question Tony Mecia sought to answer. A former business reporter for the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina, Mecia thought he had both the sources and knowledge to deliver real value for the Charlotte community. So in 2018, he launched the Charlotte Ledger, a business-focused Substack newsletter.
The newsletter started out as fairly simple, focusing mostly on curation and commentary, but Mecia slowly built more and more original journalism into his workflow. Eventually, he launched a paid version of the newsletter, and two years later he now brings in enough revenue to employ a managing editor and several freelancers.
I interviewed Mecia about his weekly workflow, how he differentiates his coverage from the Observer’s, and why he decided to bring on additional help.
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Bloomberg Media CEO Justin B Smith on new 24/7 streaming channel Quicktake and reaching 250,000 subscribers
Bloomberg has 250,000 paying subscribers to its website, which means it's already a $100 million annual business. Add in the advertising + cable TV channel + revenue from Bloomberg Terminals, and that is one great media business [link]
Talking Points Memo hits its 20th anniversary
I've always had a fascination with Talking Points Memo because it was one of the OG blogs that scaled into an actual business. It's been interesting to watch how it's pivoted from an entirely ad-based model to a mix of ads + subscriptions.
Based on my back-of-the-envelope calculations, TPM is generating $1.7 million in paid subscriptions. It has 20 employees, so $87,500 per employee. Plus it also generates revenue through advertising. [link]
I have a private Facebook group for this newsletter
Its membership runs the gamut from journalists to creators to media executives. We have pretty vibrant discussions about many of the issues discussed in this newsletter. You can join the group over here: [link]
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