"These are residence runs": The publishers' alternative merchandise promote enterprise and goal group targets

Axios, Politico, and Guardian US are among the major publishers taking advantage of the growing demand from readers for deeper political coverage with a range of products from podcasts to newsletters to increase audience visits on their channels before and after Election Day 2020 to promote and maintain.

In addition to meeting business goals such as new advertising opportunities, these products can serve as an opportunity to "curb the spread of misinformation," said Anindya Ghose, Stern professor at NYU. By creating a dedicated publication space for politics, these content brands have the opportunity to polish their respective identities as clearly recognizable and accessible sources of credible news.

“This is a great opportunity for premium and quality publishers to satisfy that desire and build a trusting relationship with their readers,” said Ghose.

In 2016, many publishers saw the so-called "Trump Bump" draw more people than ever to news organizations to read about the then-candidate. Given the high levels of tension, these new products are designed to deepen the relationships between publishers and their readers.

“This gives readers a single point of contact to find out all the facts and figures in real time without worrying about whether or not that news is in good faith. This can go a long way in calming people's nerves, which are currently at their peak, ”Ghose said.

Here's a look at some of the five publishers released on Election Day 2020:


In keeping with the newsletter format for which the media company is known, Axios published a four-part newsletter series timed to match a specific event. Called Axios AM Thought Bubble, the first issue covered the presidential debates, which began on September 29 and lasted through October 22. With advertisers such as Amazon and Koch Industries, this series of newsletters was formatted like others by Axios and contained "1 big thing". Otherwise known as a takeaway from the event itself and highlighted notable quotes uttered during the faceoff.

The sponsorship of the first issue of the newsletter was sold within 30 minutes, the publisher announced.

Axios landed on the format after editors searched for formats that readers found "more useful" and that could repackage the content already produced, said editor-in-chief Nicholas Johnston.

“It works from the audience point of view, it works from the business point of view. These are home runs, ”said Johnston. According to Axios, the newsletters were sent to the company's 600,000 subscribers, and while that wouldn't imply precise open rates, a company spokesperson pointed out the company's average open rate of 36% in newsletters. For comparison: The industry average for the opening rate of newsletters in the media, entertainment and publishing sectors is 18.10% per Sailthru.


In the run-up to the elections, Politico created a new weekly newsletter called the Transition Playbook, which describes the change in power between the administrations of the White House. Although the newsletter was published in mid-October, it provided Washington insiders with vital information that served as "catnip" for the publisher's "key audience", said Matt Kaminski, editor-in-chief of Politico.

After the executives noticed the popularity of certain news items – for example rumors about Bernie Sanders looking for a job secretary in a possible Biden administration – they were inspired to convert the newsletter from a weekly to a daily newspaper. Overall, unpaid marketing efforts are attributed to the fact that the newsletter attracted more than 10,000 subscribers in 10 days.

“No publication is more indispensable to the audience of political influencers than we are. With Playbook, we reach them first thing in the morning and at certain points during the day, ”said Kaminski.

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