Hey Overwrite Media Fam!
I know it’s been a little bit since I put out a newsletter. Life has been a bit hectic, and there has been a lot of noise in media related to Twitter. So, I took a little bit of time to regroup.
First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has read any of the Overwrite Media newsletters since its inception in August 2021. I started it as a side project that I could create using my expertise in media and technology to bring a different level of understanding to a broader audience.
2023 is going to be the time for subscriptions
I’ve been in media for nearly 15 years at Hart Energy. I’ve been the Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Digital there since 2016 while having held previous positions as Director of IT, Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Vice President of Digital Operations. Prior to that, I spent the better part of 7 years honing my skills as a system administrator, network engineer, and software developer.
In my time, I’ve seen the media landscape change from a traditional magazine and print-supported industry to an evolving business landscape of content consumption habits changing to digital products, starting with the invention of the smartphone, and what that does to the revenue stream models for media companies across the spectrum. These market dynamics also change the valuations of media companies and steer toward higher valuations of those with recurring revenue streams (paid subscriptions) over ad-supported companies. It’s easier to project revenue when it’s recurring versus advertising/marketing supported which can easily be cut during an economic crisis. People will still need information, even when advertisers have no marketing budget.
The global subscription market size is expected to reach $904 billion by 2026. That’s up from $72.91 billion in 2021 and $120 billion in 2022. That’s a $784 billion increase over the next 4 years. As companies are finding ways to add ad-supported tiers to overcome some declining subscription numbers, a lot of this is facilitated by the sheer number of subscriptions available out there. From WSJ, NYT, and other news outlets to Apple+, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+….the list goes on and on. The grab for attention is massive across the spectrum of content products and services.
Subscription Platforms…what’s next?
There need to be better platforms to handle subscriptions, as a whole. I went through an RFP process last year and found that most of the subscription platforms that are using new-age technologies are only focused on digital subscriptions - websites, newsletters, etc. Very few of them still handled print circulation, which I found very bazaar. So, what’s an entrepreneur to do?
I’m planning on building a new all-in-one subscription platform. I’m hoping to launch in Q1 2023. Over the last few months, I’ve been researching different platform technologies out there, and I know that there has to be a better way. There needs to be an easy way to handle new and renewing subscriptions, for both print, physical, and digital products. This could be anything from newsletters to magazines to subscription boxes. I’ve been dealing with this for a long time. I’ve run sales, marketing, engineering, technology, product, and operations teams, throughout my career, and I know a lot of the nuances that go into a subscription-based business. I think that a platform needs to be CMS-agnostic, easy to integrate, have customization features, and plenty of integrations to choose from to run your business.
If you want to learn more and get in touch, check out Paywallstack. The name is a work in progress, so if you have any ideas, feel free to let me know. Hit me on Twitter or reply to this email. It’s still early days, but bigger things are ahead!
If you’re interested in funding an early-stage startup, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to walk you through what I think the subscription future looks like.
Again, thank you all for reading this newsletter. 2022 was a whirlwind, and I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings! I wish you and your families and safe and happy New Year!
Start writing today. Use the button below to create your Substack and connect your publication with Overwrite Media