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:
Perhaps you’ve heard about all these writers who’ve had success launching paid newsletters on platforms like Substack and Patreon. Some are making six figure incomes. In this week’s issue, I explain why most writers who pursue this business model will fail. Let’s jump right into it...
Why generating “1,000 true fans” is a lot harder than it looks
In 2008, former Wired editor Kevin Kelly posited that, because of the efficient distribution mechanisms made possible by the internet, a content creator or artist could make a decent living with only 1,000 super fans who each paid $100 a year to access the creator’s content. The theory generated so much attention because of how seemingly attainable that number is. You don’t need to become a Justin Bieber to make a living as a content creator. You just need to amass enough of a fanbase to fill a very small arena. Well, I’m here to tell you that finding your 1,000 true fans is going to be a whole lot harder than it sounds. [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]
One other thing
If you’ve listened to the most recent two episode of my podcast The Business of Content, you’ve heard interviews I’ve conducted with readers of this newsletter about why they enjoy the newsletter. If you’d be willing to be interviewed, I’d love to have a conversation with you. Email me at email@example.com
Facebook Watch has 140 million daily users that watch an average of 26 minutes of video per day. That sounds impressive, but hard to say without much more context. I'd love to know how many users are specifically clicking on the Watch tab vs how many views are just happening in the Newsfeed. [link]
Some fascinating insights into how Spotify oriented its platform around user moods and then sold that mood data to advertisers. [link]
Google should troll the news industry by putting out a statement calling for publishers to share ad revenue whenever someone visits their website from a Google search link. [link]
I had assumed that Mailchimp's forays into original content were a form of marketing, but apparently it's launching a full-fledged media company. [link]
Why Comcast has placed a big bet on esports. [link]
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