Jan 25, 2022 - Technology

Exclusive: Substack adding video to lure new creators

Illustration of an old film countdown screen with the Substack logo at center

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Substack plans to launch a native video player in an effort to lure new creators to the platform, a spokesperson confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: It's the company's latest expansion into a new format.

Details: The new native video embed will allow Substack creators to upload or record a video onto a Substack post directly. (In the past, creators had to embed videos from other sites like YouTube in their newsletters or blog posts.)

  • Writers can chose to make videos available to everyone or only paid subscribers only. Substack authors, including Bari Weiss, have been testing the new feature."
  • The videos will be playable within Substack posts online. If a creator wants to include a video in an email, they can embed it as a clickable image that links out to the video.
  • The company will add video stats to account dashboards that will provide the number of video plays, unique viewers, and viewer watch time per video.

The big picture: Substack launched as a newsletter platform in 2017 and has since expanded to make it easier for creators in various formats to use the platform.

  • That expansion comes as Big Tech giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google push further to attract creators, including via new newsletter offerings.

What's next: The video feature will be made available to all creators in coming months after a limited beta test.

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