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The Most Popular Paid Subscription Newsletters

Yaro Bagriy
Yaro Bagriy

Paid newsletters are exploding.

Obviously, I’m biased… but It’s an attractive model. If you’re the scribe-y type and have the means to communicate your viewpoints clearly, I really don’t think there’s a better opportunity for you today. In contrast to starting a blog, you’ve got monetization on day one, and based on my experience, the audience tends to listen a little closer and be more dedicated than with typical free newsletters. I’d also like to point out that the monetization options for bloggers in 2019 (and beyond) are looking pretty anemic. CPM rates (cost per thousand impressions, which is how most bloggers get paid) are in the dumps and affiliate offers are subject to many new, and sometimes confusing legal guidelines. And that’s not even considering the SEO environment and the incredible level of saturation that blogging has.

Launching a paid subscription newsletter is an entirely different value proposition, and it’s where I intend to spend a good portion of my time and effort going forward.

Now that your gears are spinning, I think that taking a look at what’s out there is a great exercise for anyone looking to start one up.

I went ahead and compiled a list of the most popular paid newsletters I could find today. I’ve also included a link to the site, the pricing, and the estimated readership, wherever possible.

Below is a list of current heavy hitters.

Please note that the numbers below do not represent paid members alone. The stats most of these newsletter websites offer do not differentiate between paid readership and free readership.

Episode Sponsor: EmailOctopus
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Ben Thompson’s newsletter on tech and business analysis. Also, my favorite.

  • I have no idea how many subscribers Ben has, but it has to be in the tens of thousands.
  • Cost is $10 per month, or $100 per year.

The Information

High quality original reporting on tech and startups.

  • High tens of thousands of subscribers.
  • $39 per month or $399 per year
  • The Information


Bill Bishop’s newsletter on China.

  • Somewhere around 70,000 subscribers.
  • $15 per month or $168 per year.
  • Sinocism

Cleaning the Glass

Wherein Ben Falk (former VP of basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers) writes about the NBA.

  • Tens of thousands of subscribers.
  • $5 per month, +$5 per month for statistics, or $7.50 for the bundle.
  • Cleaning the Glass

Judd Legum writes about “non-hysterical and well organized narratives on national politics”.

The Browser

A daily newsletter of curated links to interesting content.


Analysis, commentary, and curated links about business restructuring and bankruptcy.

  • Thousands of subscribers
  • $29 per month or $299 per year

Off the Chain

Anthony Pompliano’s newsletter that covers blockchain, bitcoin, crypto, and digital assets.


Matt Taibbi publishes his serialized books, and completes all of the projects he hasn’t had permission to do.

  • Thousands of subscribers (many thousands)
  • $5 per month
  • Untitledgate

Exponential View

Azeem Azhar writes about “how our societies and political economy will change under the force of rapidly accelerating technologies. “


Charged is written by veteran journalist and developer Owen Williams. There’s a free version with ~15,000 subscribers, too.

  • 660+ subscribers. 15,000 free subscribers.
  • $9 per month or $90 per year.
  • Charged
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Yaro Bagriy

Podcast host & community manager