Happy pancake day! ? Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Esther.
Honestly, I’ve got a bit fed up of the wave of doom-mongers who have proclaimed the death of podcasting following a drop-off in the number of new launches over the past twelve months. Just because Dave isn’t launching any more shows from his bedroom chatting to his mates doesn’t mean we’ve remotely hit the ceiling for professional podcasts.
Podcasts are more in demand than ever, and in the US, 46% of Americans consume spoken word content on a daily basis. For these users, spoken word audio content now makes up 51% of daily audio consumption – 2% greater than music. Nearly three-quarters of publishers are planning to invest in audio this year, particularly to engage subscribers and attract new users.
This helpful round-up of key stats and publisher experiments in the space is worth a read whether you’re still on the fence about audio or are looking to invest further. Voice notes in particular are something we’d love to see more publishers utilise – and we’re potentially looking at them ourselves as a way to bring our listeners into the podcast.
The Post and Courier collaborated with the GNI to explore whether paid newsletters would be a viable growth strategy for them. This is a fascinating look at what they learned after launching two subscription-based newsletters built around collegiate athletics, and a third food-based one the following year. A particularly useful benchmark is that you can expect 1.5% of your monthly website audience to subscribe to a paid newsletter.
What would you say if an advertiser wanted a discount for ads appearing alongside AI-generated articles on your site? It’s a question BuzzFeed is having to field as it deploys the first iteration of its Infinity Quizzes – AI-generated quizzes that have a joint byline of a human author and its AI platform ‘Buzzy’. Of course, advertisers pay to reach the audience, not to appear alongside human bylines. But some will no doubt try and wrangle a discount.
Who would look at the mess Musk has created with Twitter verification and think ‘Hey, let’s do the same’? Zuckerberg, apparently. The new programme is aimed at creators looking for more account support, verification and ways to increase their visibility, but I’m curious to know if any publishers would consider paying too. Perhaps Zuck will be similarly ‘inspired’ by Twitter’s plan to charge gold tick ‘business’ accounts upward of $1,000 a month.
On this week’s episode we hear from Janice Min, co-owner and CEO of The Ankler, a newsletter-first media brand covering Hollywood and the world of entertainment. She tells us how The Ankler’s revenue streams have evolved over the last twelve months, the potential she sees in lean, newsletter-first businesses, and what lessons she’s applying from her time at big-name legacy publications like the Hollywood Reporter.