Question: What makes the newsletter model work? How has it survived this long?
Answer: Subscribers pay 100% of the costs of publishing newsletters because there is no advertising support. The newsletter model requires high editorial quality, which results in high renewal rates.After decades of under-pricing their magazines to subscribers (due to an over-reliance on ad revenues), many magazine publishers are now studying the newsletter model because of declining ad pages. I foresee a new era in which magazines will charge their loyal subscribers much more and accept the fact that circ levels will gradually drift down to more-appropriate, sustainable levels. Gone will be the revolving door, low-renewing readers who were initially lured in by agent-sold subs at rock-bottom prices. Advertisers will win, too, by getting a more committed audience of magazine readers who are more likely to actually see their ads.