What can media empires look like on Substack?
Exploring a new model for media organizations on Substack
Whenlaunched Common Sense on Substack, she set out to create a media institution that is much bigger than herself. In an interview with , she declared her intent to build “a newspaper for the 21st century,” complete with a roster of contributors and full time staff, plus audio and video components, all supported by a devoted community of paying subscribers.
In two years, Bari has made significant progress on that goal, becoming one of the most successful publishers on the platform, with hundreds of thousands of readers in all 50 states and around the world. Now, we’re excited to celebrate with her and her team as they introduce the next phase of their burgeoning media empire: The Free Press.
We’ve been working with The Free Press team to figure out how Substack can support multifaceted media empires, starting with a custom-built website that accommodates the needs of a higher-volume publisher with many contributors. This initiative is in a very early stage and we expect it to evolve as we learn more.
Part of the magic of Substack has always been how easy it is to start a publication. In minutes, anyone can create a Substack, publish their first post, start building a list of subscribers, and make money. We are using this pilot with The Free Press to learn how to apply these principles to publications with more complex needs. Areas we’ll be exploring will include how we can help publishers have a more customized brand presence on the platform while retaining the usability and legibility of a Substack, how to support collaboration between many team members in a simple content management system, and how publishers can establish their independence while exploiting the full growth benefits of the Substack network.
We’re excited for the arrival of The Free Press and to continue to support the ambitions of a new generation of media companies that are finding success with the Substack model. Watch this space.
This work is still in very early phases, but if you’re interested and would like to stay up to date, please fill out the questions at substack.link/mediaempire