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Charter’s ambitions beyond media
Plus, new Chartbeat research on how widely people read across news sites
Yesterday, we learned that Charter, a media & insights startup focused on the future of work, brought in more than $1 million in revenue during its first full year. It’s also closing in on 100,000 newsletter subscribers.
At first glance, Charter is another example of the “lean & niche” playbook. The company grew out of a newsletter written by cofounder Kevin Delaney and formally launched in summer 2021 with eight staff. It’s since expanded to a team of sixteen after raising $3 million in seed funding last summer.
This focused playbook has certainly contributed to its early success. But the company differs from many peers, in large part because its ambitions go beyond media.
In the company’s founding letter, Charter’s cofounders described their mission and how they plan to realize it (emphasis mine):
Our aim is to transform every workplace. We hope to do this by equipping every employee and leader with the best practices to make high-value decisions and resist the gravitational pull of how things have always been done…
We’ll unveil additional offerings in the coming weeks. While some of them are media, we’re agnostic about the best ways to transform workplaces, and we expect the services we provide to quickly evolve and expand.
This mindset has led to products that you don’t see at most media companies. While the company publishes two newsletters – Briefing, with news & analysis of workplace trends, and Work Tech, featuring reviews of workplace tools – it also has a “skills accelerator,” and its Pro membership includes offerings like “diagnostic tools,” “playbooks,” “coaching,” and “templates” for internal communication.
One lens is that Charter marries the editorial sensibility of a news organization with the practical utility of an industry association. With audience & purpose clearly defined, Charter is showing that there’s room to think expansively about products – and to chart a more diversified revenue path.
And here’s the latest news in digital media:
Chartbeat published research on how widely people read across news sites.
The BBC launched an “experimental” Mastodon server.
Three Vice executives are leaving the company.
The Atlantic EIC Jeff Goldberg is being considered to host Washington Week on PBS.
Google is testing incorporating links directly into AI-generated answers as part of its new Search Generative Experience.
YouTube has started testing AI-generated summaries of videos.
Twitter / X changed labels on sponsored posts so they’re less noticeable.
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