A look at three key trends shaping the future of media, including a shift from large media companies to niche companies led by individuals and small teams; renting to owning your audience on big tech platforms; and advertising-centric platforms to subscription-centric ecosystems.
Reid, do you foresee some sort of bundling strategy within Patreon/Substack having to evolve? When a customer gets a sttreaming service they get a lot of content for $10-20 a month, meanwhile most patreon/substacks at that price point limit you to one creator. It would be the equivalent of paying $10 a month for a Simpsons patreon, etc. What would be the fair market value for unlimited premium on either service? would that ever even be tenable? From a creator side I know the answer (imo hell to the no)...but on the customer and service side I imagine the thoughts at least have to be percolating around a tiered access payment system at some point...
I operated a BBS in 1990 on fido.net. People would subscribe to them (no one paid, back then, well we paid for the telephone bills...) but the Substack model I feel is similar in terms of audience and community, close-knit, focus-driven unhampered by relay nodes and dependency of an individual. Sometimes messages could take a day or two to arrive back then. Today it is instant, of course. What does the future hold? For Substack, for media? Defragmentation. There are many (streaming) platforms and users/audiences are fragmented all across them. I am not saying there will be one streaming service, one platform to rule them all, there will be less. The ones that survive will be the ones that have enough gravitational pull to defragment, to consolidate. It's already happening.
“I hope we see a similar cycle repeat for these new subscription-centric ecosystems so that buying a subscription on Substack, Patreon, or similar platforms feels as normal (and more emotionally satisfying) as buying a subscription to Netflix or Spotify.”
Substack is more emotionally satisfying on my end as a creator as well. I love how I can give my paid content to people who aren’t able to pay for it. It’s wonderful!
This was no "ramble!" Thank you! Your optimism is contagious, but without an explanation, how could we really invest in it? :)
Excellent. I’m excited to be part of the platform sitting right at the intersection of all of it. 🥐
thanks Reid 🙏🏼
i appreciate (as always) your expertise... and your humility.
Yes. And yeah, great reflection point on SNL - both needed each other.
Great insight, thanks!
I worked at the Guardian for a few years and witnessed first-hand how content creators wanted to get more direct access to an audience + ‘own’ the audience - hence many jumped ship to go it alone or to more niche media brands which had more of a direct dialogue with their audience.
I do think there’s something useful about experiencing a large media org (I’m totally biased 😅) where you have to think about content creation at scale, how to cater for that audience, build trust etc.
But totally agree, no longer a must, which is awesome!