Last week, Casey Newton announced
that he was leaving The Verge and start a paid newsletter called Platformer
Casey had started his newsletter in 2017 and has written 575 amazing issues
for The Verge here on Revue. Thanks a lot for that, Casey 💌
Now he decided to quit his job and start his own business. Casey shared some of the reasons in this interview
with Sarah Jeong
Part of it was the pandemic:
But a year later, the pandemic came along, and it just changed a lot for me. I sort of realized that I could do a ton of my job from inside my house. I could do all this digital reporting and could maybe even work on some new and different things because I had all this extra time on my hands.
Part of it was job security:
Along the way, thousands of really talented journalists lost their jobs. I always wondered if there were alternative business models we could explore, and if they were successful, could we help figure out more sustainable, replicable models for journalists to snap their fingers and create their own jobs?
And clearly a big part also was the economic upside, which Casey explained quite frankly:
When you look at the economics of newsletters, there are opportunities that are bigger for some writers than any media company can match. If you can find 10,000 people to pay you $100 a year, you’re making $1 million a year. No one in media is going to pay you that unless you’re the anchor of a popular news show or something.
Advances in technology and changes in digital publishing have tipped the risk-reward balance for authors. And as a result, many journalists are quitting their publishing jobs to start their own media business, much like early mover Ben Thompson did with Stratechery
back in 2014.
It must have been daunting for Ben back in 2014, not because of limited technology, but because few people believed in paid newsletters back then. But Ben proved them wrong and deserved to have the last word on this discussion: