Quick: How do you pull it off?
I’m thinking about calling up the team at Quarterly. It’s a new subscription service for interesting people and brands. Alexis Madrigal of the Atlantic, Gretchen Rubin at the Happiness Project and Maria Popova at Brain Pickings are all early contributors to the site. Customers can sign up to get a package from a contributor of their choice. You get one package per quarter. The package is hand curated, with items and notes that combine to tell an interesting story. Customers pay $25 per quarter for that package.
So let’s say you’re the New York Times. You have a massive library of infinite things. Why not set up on Quarterly? Make it an exclusive thing — only 500 customers can subscribe. That alone is worth $50,000 per year.(1)
And use that money to tell an awesome story. If Mike Monteiro can tell a story about awkardness with his Quarterly package, then I’m confident the Times can tell an equally awesome story.
Send me newsprint, guys. Send me something from the Times archives that I couldn’t get elsewhere. Hell, sell me a bolt from the printing press or a Post-It off of David Carr‘s desk. I don’t care what it is; I’m sure it’ll be awesome.
But these guys at Quarterly are in the business of telling interesting stories, engaging customers and making money. News organizations should be in business with companies like them.(2)
They’re the ones who we should be working with to make money. This one might only make you $50k.
But it’s a start.