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Workweek's new SaaS product
Plus, New York Mag’s approach to newsletters
Workweek CEO Adam Ryan makes the case that B2B publishers are uniquely positioned to create SaaS products because of their access to customers: “The advantage of having large distribution in B2B is to develop products with [readers]… Our feedback loop to develop Krokit was faster than any vertical SaaS biz out there.”
At present, the core of Krokit’s offering is simply data. For $246 per year, Krokit helps prospective franchise owners compare opportunities and choose a brand to franchise.
But Workweek is signaling that it intends to extend further into tooling, such as a KPI dashboard. “Our roadmap is *deep*... We're building so many more tools to help anyone launch, operate, & expand their empire.”
Many publishers have built successful data products on top of their content businesses. But building SaaS tools is more difficult: It requires very different approaches to product, sales, and customer support.
It’s true that B2B publishers are uniquely positioned to learn about their reader’s problems and validate potential software solutions. But for a startup with limited resources, it will be difficult to grow both a media company and a full-fledged B2B SaaS company.
New York Mag’s approach to newsletters:
Subscriptions grew from 500,000 in 2019 to over 1 million today.
Across the portfolio of newsletters, open rates are 39% for free readers and 64% for paying subscribers.
Pop-up newsletters are generating high engagement. A newsletter about the show Succession has 23,000 subscribers and an 80% open rate.
The newsletter team is made up of 3 full-time editors and 1 full-time writer.
Insight into Reviewed.com, Gannett’s ecommerce brand:
Publishes reviews in categories including home & garden, cooking, and tech gadgets.
Grown revenue by over 20% in each of the past three years.
78% of traffic comes from search.
Writes 20-25 articles per day.
And here’s the latest news in digital media:
Semafor raised an additional $19 million. This more than replaces the roughly $10 million that had come from FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried. Semafor has booked more than $10 million in revenue in 2023, and it has more than 400,000 newsletter subscribers.
The New York Times and its union reached a deal. Union members will get up to a 12.5% salary increase, and the minimum salary is now $65,000. The median salary for reporters in the union will be around $160,000.
The Institute for Nonprofit News released its annual index report. 82% of nonprofit news outlets surveyed maintained or increased revenue between 2021 and 2022. Median revenue per outlet was $475,000, and a majority of revenue came from foundations & individual donations.
More from around the industry:
The Knight Foundation and Georgetown announced an institute focused on the intersection of information and technology.
The Washington Post announced cross-functional teams focused on AI.
The Insider Union voted to begin a strike.
Ad agencies are turning to contextual targeting in preparation for the end of cookies.
High-profile conservatives are increasingly turning to Twitter to break news.
The U.S. Surgeon General warned about the dangers of social media for children.
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