Feb 22, 2024 - Business

Substack says it now has more than 3 million paid subscriptions

Illustration of a small newsletter next to a medium-sized newsletter, followed by a large newsletter

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Substack on Thursday will announce that more than 3 million customers subscribe to paid newsletters on its platform, up from 2 million announced last year and 1 million in 2021.

The big picture: Substack raised tens of millions of dollars at a lofty valuation with the assumption that it could reach a critical enough mass of paid subscribers that it could one day become profitable and self-sustaining.

Details: In a note shared with Axios, Substack co-founder Hamish McKenzie and product VP Sachin Monga credit new efforts to improve its recommendations feature for growing its paid subscriber base.

  • The company said it plans to expand the recommendations feature, which helps writers promote other newsletters in its network, to include more newsletters that can be recommended at a time.
  • The company makes money by taking a 10% cut of all paid subscriptions in on its platform in exchange for offering support to the writers and podcasters it works with.

What to watch: The latest subscription milestone suggests there’s still room for growth within Substack’s current model, but the firm is experimenting with other ideas to improve it.

  • Earlier this month Axios reported that the company is trying to quietly help some of the creators on its platform sell ads.
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