Issue #126 — There's never been a better time to transform publishing

It's Sunday again, which means it's time for your weekly dose of the best reads about publishing. Included: a free ebook, how Morning Brew grow their subscribers, how to create extraordinary podcasts and more. Plese enjoy, feel free to share, and hit reply to chat with us!

💯 Top picks

Publishers can seize opportunities in the pandemic

"This is a reset moment. Organizations are unfrozen. People are expecting change. You have a cover. There will never be a better time to tackle deeper changes that need to happen."

Lucy Kueng, Senior Research Associate at Reuters has published an ebook about transforming publishing in the aftermath of the pandemic. Read it here (it's free): Transformation Manifesto: 9 Priorities for Now.

💸 Business models

Engagement beats scale: Inside Morning Brew’s approach to subscriber growth

"Our newsletter has 2.5 million subscribers, but that’s not the number we actually care about."

News publishers dial up the marketing heat on their subscription products

With ad business shaky, publishers have become more aggressive about promoting their subscription products. (Paid article)

How Marie Claire survived and thrived using affiliate marketing

In 2019, the publisher was losing readers, and print sales were declining at a rate of almost 25% each year. But under new ownership, they immediately pivoted to a digital business model to tap into a new audience on the web, and now has more than 3 million monthly uniques.

✍️ Modern journalism

Adversarial journalism, conspiracies, impact of journalism, and the future

Thomas Baekdal talks about some of the more serious elements of journalism.

8 reasons why email newsletters are a game-changer

"In the early 2000s, we were supposed to write blogs. Then we weren’t."

Can product thinking save journalism?

“News product is an emerging essential skill for the journalism industry because it connects the dots between the editorial content and the business strategies so that you can create both ethical and sustainable models for producing journalism,”

💻 Technology

Creating extraordinary podcasts

Executive Producer of Content and Partnerships at New York Magazine and Vox Media discusses what she took from her time working at Google and Twitter, and what goes into creating truly great podcast material.

Publishers could be missing out on readers by using mixed post formats on Facebook!

Text-to-speech is the audio opportunity no one’s talking about

While offering articles in an audible format is nothing new, this type of content is currently enjoying a massive boom, as time-strapped audiences look for convenient ways to consume online media.

Can Spotify be the one to convince people to pay for podcasts?

"The Swedish music giant is apparently testing out podcast-only subscription offers. But the market for paid premium podcasts is pointedly unproven."

🤷 WTF?

Social media managers are not OK

"They’re on the front lines of a relentless and overwhelming news cycle that is pushing them to the edge."