The Information staffs up in a push to reach ‘hundreds of thousands’ of subscribers
The Information has hired 22 people in the last year, adding more beats, staffing up popular ones and adding more newsletters to drive subscriptions.
The business news publication’s goal is to reach “hundreds of thousands” of subscribers from the “tens of thousands” of subscribers that the company has today, which will “more than likely” happen in “a few years,” said Jessica Lessin, founder and editor-in-chief of The Information. The publication declined to share its total number of subscribers.
The Information’s most recent hires include Sam Rosen, who was previously svp, growth at The Atlantic, to become gm of the publication’s consumer business. The role was created to grow The Information’s subscription business, Lessin said. Rosen will expand the company’s marketing and product teams, as well as work on developing more email and paid products, so that the company has “a wider array of tools in the tool kit,” Lessin said. She declined to say what percentage of the company’s revenue comes from subscriptions or provide revenue numbers.
On the editorial side, The Information has brought on journalists like CNN’s Kaya Yurieff, USgamer’s Mathew Olson and Hannah Miller, from the Financial Times’ Life Annuity Specialist, to launch new newsletters on the creator economy, augmented and virtual reality and soon cryptocurrency, respectively. In addition to the new beats, reporters — including Digiday alum Sahil Patel — were added to The Information’s coverage of Facebook, Apple and the media industry.
“For a subscription company like us… readers want more and more content,” Lessin said. “Investing in the journalism is the same as investing in the business.” The publication does not have a traditional display advertising business, but does sell sponsorships for its events, newsletters, surveys and podcasts as well as offer some B2B product offerings.
Fifty-four percent of the new hires in the past year were women, Lessin said. The company has 29 editorial employees and 13 on its business side, according to its website.
The editorial hiring surge has corresponded with a drastic uptick in The Information’s newsletter volume. Its newsletter business launched in March 2021, and Miller’s cryptocurrency newsletter will bring the The Information’s newsletter roster to seven. They are all free to read in their entirety, though The Information will require a subscription “over time,” Lessin said.
“We are not in a rush to establish that right now,” she added. The timing of when The Information will restrict access to its newsletter content will vary by newsletter, as it monitors open and engagement rates for each one.
“Doubling down on content that is driving subscriptions is exactly what any publisher should be doing right now,” said Melissa Chowning, founder and CEO of audience development and marketing firm Twenty-First Digital. The Information, Chowning added, “is making hiring decisions based on what it is their audience wants to read.”
This article has been updated to reflect that The Information does sell some forms of advertising.
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