Substack announced today that it has added support for multiple authors to its service. The company offers A publishing tool that brings blogs and email newsletters together and focuses on monetizing subscriptions.
The daily updates also include a number of publication-friendly tools, such as shared access and homepage functions, that are similar to conventional websites than the linear timeline style previously used by Substack.
The additions, which include useful pages such as author pages for multi-person publications, mark a new level of maturity for Substack, a service that quickly attracted both authors and audiences after its launch. This early traction helped the company land an oversized Series A that was $ 15.6 million into the business compared to the size of its team.
The news of the funding was welcome for the users of the service. As was the disclosure of Substack at the time that the publications on its platform had attracted 50,000 paying subscribers. This number was exciting, suggesting that the company's product could help writers of all kinds build a monetary audience, a holy grail for creative writers.
Given today's updates, TechCrunch asked Substack about the progress of its monetization and was particularly curious about how many subscribers paid for Substack Publications had increased. The company declined to share new numbers with its co-founder and COO Hamish McKenzie Instead, he said that his team is “very happy with the growth [it has] seen in the past few months. "
In a company blog post that accompanied today's news, the company found "tens of thousands of paying subscribers", which means that Substack has not yet doubled its existing subscriber base of 50,000 people. (This would give Substack subscribers a six-figure figure. However, since it hit the 50,000 paid subscriber mark less than a year ago, it could be aggressive to expect to double that quickly.)
Newsletter, blog, website
Part of Substack's initial success was the intelligent mix of blogs and newsletters. Anyone who wanted to build one or the other got both in a format that worked for everyone; Bloggers were able to send emails and email-focused people also got a home on the Internet. It was all the more attractive that the product was based on monetization tools.
With today's updates, you can add a new form to the Substack mix: websites. A new Substack website can look like this:
By pinning posts at the top of publications, adding photobylines, and other tools, users can now do a lot more with Substack publications. The company must now cross the line between the power of simplicity and the mere empowerment of its primary users.
The company model seems to be working. According to the analysis service Alexa, data traffic to the larger substack service has increased in the past few months. In October last year, Substack was ranked among the 13,000 most visited websites worldwide. It is now in the 11,000s. For media companies like The Dispatch, which hatch on Substack, and with today's updates, this number is expected to decrease further.
Substack is a bet that readers will pay for the paper they care about. It is a good bet. And better tools will flip the odds more in their favor.
Now we can just count down until Substack announces 100,000 paid subscribers.