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We’ve got used to publisher’s newsletter portfolios expanding so it’s strange to hear about one that’s shrinking. Esther has the full story, but basically The New Statesman has consolidated its newsletter offering into two newsletters – a daily morning briefing and a longer weekend read.
One of the things that struck me with the New Statesman’s move is the constant battle between reader relevance and commercial scale for mid-sized publishers. If you’re big, it’s easier to create multiple products across a range of niches. And if you’re tiny, like us, you just have one niche to focus on.
Publishers like the New Statesman are probably smart not to spread themselves too thin, both with newsletters and podcasts. Media’s future is definitely niche, but sometimes that niche might just be the people who love and trust your brand and segmenting any further could bring diminishing returns.
A new study has looked at how audiences perceive data-driven or quantitative journalism and what they want from the numbers presented. Colour me shocked, but there appears to be a general dislike of too many numbers, scales of measurement that are too abstract and complicated technical terms. If you need more constructive commentary than that, Joseph Hook’s deep dive into the study is excellent.
A subscription strategy article that focuses on readers that can’t afford what you’re selling, don’t see the value, got bored or got pissed off… Perfect! Thomas Baekdal has, again, cut straight to the chase to suggest actions that real-world publishers can apply to the real-world causes of audience churn.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the intersection between print and digital recently, trying to get my head around what each does best. The closing lines from Phil Rowley’s column encapsulate perfectly where I want to get to with Grub Street: “We don’t live in a virtual world. We live in the real world. But there is a sweet spot where we can harness the best of both worlds.”
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