Hello, more new subscribers! It’s great to have you.
In my international media newsletter today, the top story is the latest podcast by my friends at the Media Voices podcast and their interview with Wired Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson.
I am a big fan of him and his work, and I have been following what he has done since he was the digital editor at The New Yorker. One of my favourite quotes from him in a Digiday podcast is that they don’t try to do everything that is possible in digital at The New Yorker but every digital thing that they do is The New Yorker.
Thompson now is the top editor at Wired. He was asked: Why print? “There are wonderful things about a print magazine,” Thompson said, but he said that that as a group, they are mostly focused on digital and started making that transition 15 years ago.
He reprised his recent look back at one year behind a paywall at Wired, which we highlighted here on the newsletter. One thing he noted is that advertising still delivers the vast majority of revenue at Wired.
And he talked about his surprise at the stories that drove the most subscriptions. The long-meaty features drove a lot of subscriptions, but he was surprised that the 65th most read feature about a genius neuroscientist that is driving AI. It didn’t deliver a lot of traffic by their standards, but it was the second most driver of subs last year. But good listicles also drove subs as well.
“In almost every category of content, the best stuff we did drove subscriptions,” he said. “It was a little surprising but also heartening.”
That’s a great insight. It’s not necessarily the format but the execution.
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