Punchbowl adds text alerts as outlets seek Twitter alternatives
Punchbowl News, the two-year-old Congress-focused media startup, will launch a text-based breaking news service this month to send real-time alerts to paid subscribers instead of relying on Twitter, according to the company's founders.
Why it matters: More news companies are experimenting with ways to deliver breaking news directly to readers and routing around intermediary services like Twitter, which has grown increasingly unpredictable for journalists.
Details: Beginning in mid-January, premium subscribers to Punchbowl will be able to add the text-based service at no additional charge to receive breaking news alerts.
- Punchbowl will send the messages using a platform called Subtext that works with dozens of media companies and thousands of creators to send users real-time news updates.
- For now, the company doesn't plan to offer the messages beyond its subscribers, seeing the service as an added benefit for paying customers.
- Punchbowl brought in over $10 million in its first year in business in 2021, with around 10% of that revenue coming from subscription fees, Axios reported.
- The alerts will be used mostly to inform readers about news that breaks between newsletter updates. Punchbowl publishes three newsletters a day, five times per week.
Between the lines: While publishers have long sought to reduce their dependence on third-party news distributors, the efforts gained momentum last month after Elon Musk's Twitter suspended the accounts of a half-dozen journalists for what many industry observers saw as arbitrary reasons.
The big picture: More news companies are investing in products to connect their hyper-engaged digital audiences directly with their writers.
- The Verge redesigned its home page to include an editorially curated Twitter-like feed of content in September.
- The Information debuted a Reddit-like news feed in July.
- Platformer's Casey Newton said last month that he would post breaking stories about Twitter in Platformer's Discord chat rather than on Twitter itself.
Go deeper: Rivals see opening in Twitter's chaos