Issue #102 — Free tools to upgrade your membership analytics

This week's curated list of the most important stories in publishing is short and sweet. Make sure you don't miss the top pick with great advice about analytics for membership businesses.

💯 Top picks

Upgrade your analytics and build a data-powered membership program

How do you inform data-driven decisions for your membership business? Brian Boyer has put together a series of spreadsheets, tools and techniques for tracking your members habits called Memberkit. It's free to use, and unlocks tons of useful insights from Google Analytics and email newsletters.

💸 Business models

So far, publishers are keeping subscribers gained during the coronavirus crisis

"New subscribers, the small bright spot for ravaged publishing, are not churning at the same rate as other subscribers, according to early data from subscription platforms."

What are publishers with steady, consistent performances doing that the others aren’t?

The right content and the right strategy can lead to consistent performance and long-term value!

Two months, a voluntary 30% price increase and 18,000 new paying readers

"eldiario.es found itself in financial difficulties when coronavirus hit. Until 18,000 new members and thousands of existing readers stepped in."

✍️ Modern journalism

New Zealand media group Stuff to be sold to chief executive Sinead Boucher for NZ$1

"A staff ownership model and a charter for editorial independence are among the plans for New Zealand’s largest journalism publisher, after Stuff’s chief executive bought the business from its Australian parent company for a single dollar."

The upcoming journalism school overhaul

Are the benefits of attending a journalism school still as clear today as they used to be? This opinion piece takes a look at getting a degree vs. lifelong learning skills, and whether it makes sense to do a journalism degree anymore.

How news orgs can create an effective "about us" page

"What is your news outlet’s mission? What communities do you cover, and how long have you been in business? What do you value, and what are your standards? Who works in your newsroom, and how are they reachable? How do you make money?"

💻 Technology

When you leave a company, can you take your podcast with you? Here’s how one team did it

The latest issue of Hot Pod shared on Nieman Lab looks at podcast ownership, more thoughts on Joe Rogan and Spotify, and the BBC's annual plan.

Google blocked billions of ads in 2019: How publishers can chart a revenue path forward

"Google has built its search business model on user trust and its ability to weed out untrustworthy players who try to manipulate its ranking systems."

🤷 WTF?

Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots

Dozens of journalists have been laid off at Microsoft in favour of AI software.