2. Exclusive: Forbes launches major paid newsletter platform
Forbes is launching a newsletter platform that will allow journalists to launch their own paid newsletters and split the revenue with the 103-year-old publisher, executives tell Axios.
- The big picture: Forbes will hire 20-30 writers with big followings to help get the platform up and running. It later plans to add some of its existing editorial verticals to the platform and make the offering available to its 2,800-person contributor network.
How it works: The idea is to create a platform that offers writers all of the marketing, editorial and salary benefits of being a part of Forbes' newsroom, but gives them enough editorial independence to ensure that their audiences follow them over to Forbes.
- Writers will be able to split subscription revenue for the newsletters 50/50 with Forbes. Subscription prices will be developed in collaboration with the writers.
- They will also be able to receive a cut of ad revenue with Forbes, with no cap on potential earnings. The ad revenue share will be based on page views and recurring visitors, says Forbes' Chief Content Officer Randall Lane.
- "We will pay a flat rate based on page views and a bonus based on recurring page views," a metric that represents reader loyalty.
Yes, but: Not only will Forbes compete with a number of tech firms getting into the newsletter business, but a few editorial publishers that are eyeing a similar idea.
Be smart: This is different from a platform like Substack, where content moderation policies are intentionally less strict because writers are paid directly and only by readers.
What's next: Later this quarter, Forbes will begin to add key Forbes franchises to the platform as paid newsletters, like the “Midas List,” which focuses on venture capital, and “SportsMoney,” which details the business of sports.
- It will launch paid newsletters for popular writers from its contributor network closer to Q2.