Before we dive in, I’m taking a slightly different approach to this week’s newsletter. First, I’m announcing a brand new addition using Substack Chat: the Overwrite Media subscriber chat. I already started a thread, so check it out below. Second, I’m going to cover several things going on with some of my takes on what’s happening and link out to the original sources. Shoot me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org whether you like this direction or not.
Chat: I’ve already started my first chat thread so come on over and say hello!
More Staff Cuts at Twitter
The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, is reported to cut up to 50% of the remaining staff at the social media company. This is less than the original 75%, or roughly 5,600 employees, that was uncovered in documents obtained by The Washington Post, but more than the most recent speculation of 25%. 50% will equate to nearly 3,700 jobs. The aim and focus are for Musk to cut as much cost as he can, after spending $44 billion on the acquisition. The executive team has already been cut, with the former CEO Parag Agrawal, former CFO Ned Segal, Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde, and General Counsel Sean Edgett all being fired “for cause” by Musk, in order to abstain from paying tens of millions of dollars in severance package payouts. There were other Director and VP-level staff terminated over the weekend. This is all coming out just days after Musk fired the entire Twitter Board, making himself the sole director of the company. This was already planned as part of his acquisition agreement.
Tweet every day
Write better tweets
Plug your products on auto-pilot
Gain new newsletter followers to build your business
YouTube Rolls Out Handles
YouTube is now moving into the identification space, providing a handle for all channels. The handle allows a channel to be found much easier by way of a @handle name in conjunction with YouTube.com URLs. For example, one of my channels is Tech Guy Fishing (I’m an avid fisherman), and I had already reached the threshold of 100 followers to get the custom URL YouTube.com/TechGuyFishing, but now it can also be found at youtube.com/@TechGuyFishing, as well as that handle being used to tag in comments and descriptions of videos. This follows suit with TikTok using the same handle structure in URLs – TikTok.com/@TechGuyFishing and being able to tag, accordingly. One big change from YouTube is that there is no longer the 100-follower threshold to be eligible for the handle. It’s available immediately for all channels. We just launched the Overwrite Media YouTube channel and were able to set a handle right away.
Media Companies Are Pulling Back on their Subscription Strategies
Max Tani at Semafor put out a scoop related to Insider’s subscription strategy changes to remove the paywall from much of the content. The news comes after waning traffic from third-party sources such as Facebook. The previous focus was on more content behind the paywall, but economic changes have created a new notion on making the transition to better readership, with more free articles. Editor In Chief, Nich Carlson, stated in a memo to staff that Insider had:
“made the business decision to move about half of the journalists on our subscription team in front of the paywall.”
“Ultimately, our adjustments just haven’t been big or fast enough and we are not getting enough new subscriptions per journalist behind the paywall,” he said “And, frankly, the current economic picture — and budgeting season – has been a good catalyst prompting us to move faster.”
Changes at the company have already started to take place, with team newsroom reassignments, and content moving in front of the paywall. The concern with changes is that they may push employees to leave the company.
This follows suit with others struggling to have strong subscription growth. The Washington Post is on pace to lose revenue in both subscriptions and digital advertising revenue this year. After hitting its peak of three million subscribers at the end of 2020, it seems that when Former President Donald Trump left office, it hasn’t been able to hold on to the same pace of news from the Trump administration. However, the New York Times has seen success with bundles of The Atlantic, Wire Cutter, and Wordle with an increase of 180,000 digital subscribers.
ConvertKit is the go-to marketing hub for creators to grow their audience, automate their marketing, and sell their digital products. You can use their free plan with up to 1,000 subscribers. Don’t delay!
The new ad-supported tier of Netflix goes live. I wrote about it when it was announced, and now it’s available for all.
Substack Chat launches. They have a take on this as a competitor to Twitter, especially with the new boss making so many changes.
Apple continues its push into the ad business. The company will now be offering two different ad placements on the Today and Product pages.
Thank you for reading. If you’re interested in sponsoring, please take a look at our sponsorship options and get in touch. Any other thoughts, questions, or feedback, send me a note at email@example.com.