The paid online newsletter service allows writers the opportunity to keep more of the fruits of their labors.
Andrew Sullivan made the jump from New York magazine. Matthew Yglesias bounced from Vox, a website he helped start. Glenn Greenwald noped out of The Intercept, which he also helped found. What has lured so many big names away from traditional media? Substack.
The company, which enables paid online newsletters, was founded in 2017; it is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and other investors known for glomming on to the next big online thing. Many veterans of the early blogosphere are attracted to Substack because they believe it promises a return to the freewheeling days of chatty, unedited internet commentary—and an opportunity to keep more of the fruits of their labors.
I look forward to the day when clusters of Substack writers with some kind of shared interest start publishing together on a regular schedule. Maybe they can call it a "magazine."