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The Athletic keeps growing .......

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Fran Curci, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Sports Barf

    Sports Barf Active Member



    Wow. Who you gonna trust, the SID or some kid from The Athletic who looks like he just graduated high school?
     
  2. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Both?

    The Cincinnati source clearly has a different view than the BC SID.
     
  3. PaperClip529

    PaperClip529 Active Member

    Whoever isn't the SID.
     
    cake in the rain likes this.
  4. cake in the rain

    cake in the rain Active Member

    You could provide me a list of 500 random names from the phone book (if phone books still existed) and I would trust each of them more than the SID.
     
  5. Sports Barf

    Sports Barf Active Member

    There’s a Billy McFarland in the phone book my town just sent to my house
     
    Alma likes this.
  6. authletic

    authletic New Member

    Justin is the best UC reporter in town and it's not close. I'm sorry you don't approve of his looks (, boomer?).
     
  7. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Well-Known Member

    What didn't happen?
     
  8. Sports Barf

    Sports Barf Active Member

    Typical techie answer. “He’s critical, psh whatever he’s probably an old fart.”
     
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Curious. ... If you are who you said you are a while back, are you able to shed any more light on the actual business for us? I realize you are private and have no obligation to any of us, but anything you are willing to share would be interesting, rather than sitting back and watching people speculate (badly, I would guess).

    Things I would love to know, mostly don't think you'll answer (but I'll lay it out there for you). ... even if you are only willing to speak generally about any of it. ...

    1) Anececdotally, I noticed a lot of heavily discounted subscription offers around Christmas. Should we take that as a good thing or bad? Where are you with subscribers at this point and has it slowed down? What is the cost of acquiring a subscriber with all of the social media advertising? Also, you have enough history now. ... what percentage of your subscribers have been re upping and what does it mean for your viability?
    2) What does your cash flow situation look like at this point? And what is the breakdown of where your revenue is coming from? What sources of revenue, if any, do you have other than from subscriptions at this point, and do you have other plans or ideas that you may roll out?
    3) Did you really try to make an offer to license SI's name after they already had licensed it to someone else? What would you have done with the name?
    4) Are you done with the capital raises? Do you have any debt? At what point do you think you will be able to grow on your own? And what would you ideally like for the future. ... stay private, ultimately a public offering, try to grow it big enough to sell?
     
  10. authletic

    authletic New Member

    1) We have always done this around the holidays. Re: discounts, the NYT, WaPo, WSJ, every streaming service and software company in existence, Disney+ (which has additionally given away their service to all Verizon subscribers), your local gym, the cable company, etc. all offer free trials and first-year promotional pricing. I only mention it because we get a lot of questions on this topic. Retention is strong (80%+ annually) so as a (still) relative newcomer we're happy to trade some upfront cash for more readers trying out our product.

    2) Almost all subscription. We are building a nice sponsorship revenue stream around podcasts, many of which are available for free. Diversification is fine and good but subscription is the foundation. Most publishers still have it backwards.

    3) I will just say it is sad to see a once iconic brand cheapened down to the level of a content/aggregation farm in the way that SI has been (along with FanSided, 12Up, and all the others)

    4) Stating the obvious here but long term the most important consideration for the business -- and my only preference as it relates to the eventual outcome -- is that it has good owners (see point 3), whether that's public shareholders (as with NYT) or private ownership (as with WaPo, I guess?). That said we're one of the four or five largest subscription news publishers in the world and we've yet to hit our fourth birthday. The name of the game for now is to keep growing and building.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Do you mean four or five largest DIGITAL subscription news publishers in the world? There are a dozen newspapers in Japan and India I believe you are not near. ... Where exactly are you on subscribers, did you surpass a million by year end the way I believe you had suggested earlier in the year?

    I am sure people are also curious about where you are on the big financial question: Is there enough cash flow to demonstrate self sufficiency, or has the growth been on the back of the money you have raised? . ... The subscriber growth is very impressive, and I do believe content is king, so congrats on just creating something that people like. It matters whether you have something people are buying, and your subscribers speak for themselves. ... For me, though, the question is can you (and are you?) price it in a way where you can keep those subscribers. ... and be profitable and keep growing?

    Whether or not most publishers have it backward, the way you said, a model with just subscription revenue in a capital intensive business has always been tough. If you are priced too low to be profitable, I am sure you can get your subscriber base up into the millions by effectively subsidizing those subscribers with VC money (or with debt, if you go that way) for as long as you can. I am not saying that is the path you are on, because I have no info obviously, but that is the thing I am most curious about. In the public market for example (where you can see an income statement and balance sheet), you have Netflix which is a subscription model too. ... and they have burned through billions of dollars of borrowed money on the way to ramping up to huge. Money has been easy and cheap for a decade (a whole other conversation), and speculative VC money flowed pretty easily for several years. I suspect there are a lot of zombie companies that have been carried along on insane amounts of misallocated capital. You already started to see some of the fallout last year of what I am suggesting with the WeWork / Softbank mess, which I suspect is a prelude of a lot more to come. That is why I have those kinds of questions about you. ... that said, just because I am asking, don't think I am assuming anything about your business or that I don't want you to succeed. I do, for a bunch of reasons.
     
  12. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    boston college never lobbied to cancel the game
     
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