Issue #105 — The resurgence and importance of email newsletters

This week's issue is full of interesting reads about the importance of email, why people pay for online news, the latest reports and why publishers need to improve the personality of their digital products. Enjoy!

By the way: We've made a few changes around here. All issues of Publisher Weekly are now written, published and emailed directly from Ghost using our Members feature. Want to learn more? Hit reply to chat!

💯 Top picks

The resurgence and importance of email newsletters

"Email newsletters, once thought of as low-tech and unfashionable, are proving increasingly valuable to publishers looking to build strong direct relationships with audiences."

💸 Business models

Digital news report 2020: 5 must-read charts for publishers

A new digital news report from Reuters dropped this week, which highlights even faster changes in business models due to the impact of COVID-19.

‘Churn and burn’: Publishers are prioritizing subscription volume over immediate revenue

"Like a lot of media trends spinning out of the pandemic and disconnecting legacy business norms with new in-market realities, there is a widening gap between the volume of publishers’ overall subscription numbers and the revenue that follows. And in that gap lies a cruel contradiction – growth twinned with downsizing."

How & why people are paying for online news

"It’s not yet clear how the coronavirus pandemic will affect payment levels for online news. The initial surge in news use near the beginning of the crisis led to optimism that an increase in paid subscriptions would soon follow."

People who pay for news say they’re unlikely to stop

"The percentage of people paying for news online continues to increase — and people may even pay for more than one subscription."

✍️ Modern journalism

Publishers need to increase "stickiness" to compete with platforms

"Publishers will need to step up the personality and stickiness of their digital news products if they are to compete with platforms and aggregators."

FT Editor Roula Khalaf on working remotely, gender diversity and the story they have to own

In a wide-ranging conversation touching on many major newsroom topics, Roula Khalaf, the Editor of the Financial Times, speaks to Reuters and WAN-IFRA about how the FT has been navigating the pandemic, how it continues to innovate, and the story it needs to own.

News by the ton: 75 years of US advertising

"There’s a common line about Google and Facebook that ‘if you’re not paying, you’re the product’, but this is pretty much what newspapers did: if you read old accounts for, say the New York Times Company, you can see that they were giving the product away at close to cost and making the money from selling your attention."

💻 Technology

What to know when choosing your membership tech stack

The Membership Puzzle Project explore how you can select the right tech to streamline your data and avoid having to create "workarounds" to accommodate walls between tech tools.

🤷 WTF?

Twitter starts rolling out audio tweets on iOS

Twitter is rolling out the ability to record audio snippets and attach them to your tweets. That really extends the character limit somewhat!