I have been very quiet for about two weeks for the simple reason that I have been updating my magazine with a lot of new things. In this newsletter, I will tell you all about what has changed, why I made those changes, and how that impacts your account.
The first big change is that what you are reading right now is not Baekdal/Plus. You are currently reading Baekdal/Basic. But that is not all, there is also another new thing called Baekdal/Executive.
Let me explain:
When I started Baekdal/Plus back in 2010 (that's 13 years ago!!), my focus was to create very in-depth media reports for media executives. Now, back then, the focus was very different from what we see today. We were in the middle of the big 2009 financial crisis, the advertising share to publishers was plummeting, nobody was doing subscriptions, and the focus was almost entirely on this new dramatic and urgent transition from print to digital.
For me, this was interesting, because I knew how to do that. Before 2010, I published online for more than a decade, and I worked with digital transformation (albeit outside the media industry). So, I realized I could take my experience, my knowledge, and my focus on change management to the media industry.
Doing this started out really slow. It took more than three years to become known enough in the industry to become cash flow positive but then after that, things started to improve.
Today, I have subscribers from about 35 different countries, with most coming from the USA, Belgium, UK, the Netherlands, the Nordics, and Germany. And over the past decade, not only have I had subscribers from many of the publishers around the world, I have directly helped some of these publishers, including companies like Condé Nast, Schibsted, NRC, some of the big and (small) newspapers, and even brands who wanted to learn more about how to be publishers.
I'm so thankful for that, but while that is exciting, I have also always had three big problems.
The first problem is about the size of my audience. My media reports are very focused on just the top-level media executives, and they are very long (30-40 pages each), and so even though my subscribers love this, it's a very limited audience. Basically, I have almost no subscribers that are journalists or editors.
So, my focus is too narrow.
This wouldn't be a problem if the price was right. If I could charge, say, $1000 per report, this would work just fine. And, in fact, many of my current subscribers have told me that my prices are too low. Raise your prices, they tell me.
Well, I have tried that ... many times... and every time it led to less conversion. The problem, every time, is that it takes a while for people to get into the value of my reports. Once they do, they usually love it, but that initial conversion has been so difficult. Partly because of the focus, and the size of my reports (again, 30-40 pages).
Which leads me to my third problem, which is the 'gap'. You see, to get more people to experience my big executive reports, several years ago I launched a free newsletter. This was fairly successful. The free newsletter has about 20 times as many subscribers as my paid subscribers, but while it did help get more people to see the big reports, the gap between them was still too big. There is just too much difference between the subscription levels of the free newsletter and the executive-focused reports.
Well... now, I have decided to fix this. The new Baekdal will have three tiers, for three different focus areas, which combined will work much better for you.
The basic tier is Baekdal/Basic. This is almost entirely the same as my previous free newsletter, except it will change to focus a bit more on news, trends, and what I would define as quick analysis. So, shorter and more focused on the present. It will still have the same level of 'Baekdal' value that I put into everything.
The next tier is Baekdal/Plus. This is entirely new because this level is going to focus on what journalists, editors, and audience engagement teams need. In other words, it is about your audience, your newsroom, and how to make our journalism work better. This too will be published as a newsletter (but you can also always read them online if you prefer), and the articles are longer than the basic newsletter, but much shorter than the big executive reports.
Finally, the upper tier is Baekdal/Executive. This is the new home for my high-end executive reports. These are the super-focused reports that you already know, but with some improvements in value overall.
The idea with this is not only to give you more value, but also to give much more flexibility. Another new thing I have implemented is a new way to upgrade or downgrade your subscription on the fly. So, if you are a Plus subscriber and you want to read a report, you can upgrade to Executive for a month, and then downgrade again ... or vice versa.
I wanted to give you much more flexibility.
The prices also reflect this. As you may notice, Baekdal/Plus is now cheaper than the old plan, whereas Baekdal/Executive is more expensive.
There is even a super-secret freelance tier. Okay, sure, it's not really a secret since I'm telling you about it, but over the years I have had many people tell me that they wanted to subscribe to Baekdal/Plus but because they had to pay for it personally, they couldn't afford it. Well, I now have a 50% off freelance discount (read about that here).
As you can see, this creates a much better balanced model that gives you far more flexibility. Baekdal Media has always been known for high-end media analysis, and, with this, I can give it to more people based on what you need.
So, welcome to the new Baekdal!!
Note: All previous Baekdal/Plus accounts have automatically been upgraded to executive level, but at the same price you previously paid.
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Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter
"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé