Substack is an online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters. It offers journalists a platform to say whatever they want, unencumbered by editors. The independent writers that join the platform own their own content, as well as their subscription lists. They also have no obligation to stay on the platform. Ultimately, Substack changes the incentives for writers.
Now, Substack allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to their readers and monetize their work by putting it behind a paywall—has been growing steadily ever since its launch in 2017. A Y Combinator graduate that is also backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Substack now has more than 250,000 paying subscribers. Perhaps even more impressive, its top ten publishers collectively bring in $7 million in annualized revenue. While some are skeptical about whether the shift from algorithm-powered news feeds to age-old email newsletters will be long-lasting, others are optimistic that, in fact, what’s old is a new age of media.