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Category & rankNameStated sizeCostEst. pay subs Mar 21 (exponential distribution)Paid subs: Zipf-ier distributionEst paid Aug 2020Notes
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Politics 1Letters from an American, by Heather Cox Richardsontens of thousands$535,00070,00015,000
she's overtaken The Dispatch! Though I've revised down from initial 50K estimate. Now 10% conversion rate for (known) 350,000 total subscribers (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/27/business/media/heather-cox-richardson-substack-boston-college.html)
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Politics 2The Dispatchtens of thousands$1015,00019,50020,000
my Aug 2020 estimate was perhaps too high (it was then #1 - so the hardest to calibrate)
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Politics 3Bulwark+tens of thousands$1012,30014,000new entrant
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Politics 4TK News by Matt Taibbitens of thousands$521,00022,00030,000
Reporting by Matt Taibi was #2 overall in Aug, est. 30,000 subs. this is a rebrand?
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Politics 5Glen Greenwaldtens of thousands$518,50019,000new entrant
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Politics 6The Weekly Dish by Andrew Sullivantens of thousands$516,00017,0009,900
high growth -- why? cannot immediately see the cause
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Politics 7Slow Boring, by Matthew Yglesiasthousands$89,8009,800new entrant
9900 an upper bound for rank 7 -- 9800 in vox https://www.vox.com/recode/22338802/substack-pro-newsletter-controversy-judd-doyle
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Politics 8Popular Information by Judd Legumtens of thousands$612,50011,1678,200
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Politics 9The North Star with Shaun Kingthousands$106,6005,800new
Notably left/radical - interesting to see at least some of this being very popular
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Politics 10The Daily Posterthousands$106,0005,200new
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Politics 11Steady by Dan Ratherthousands$59,9009,900new
Upper bound - should nearly be "tens of thousands"
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Politics 12Persuasion, by Yasha Mounkthousands$1049004,5004,500
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Politics 13The Ink, by Anand Giridharadasthousands$58,8008,000new
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Politics 14Common Sense with Bari Weissthousands$58,0007,600new
Bari Weiss: 16,500 subscribers, Oct 2021 https://www.vox.com/recode/2021/10/9/22715506/atlantic-newsletter-subscribers-substack
Warning: this chart is constantly changing as I get more info and/or change my modeling assumptions
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Politics 15Krystal, Kyle & Friendsthousands$57,0007,200new
I dropped out of a maths degree 15 years ago: aka i am not a statistician :D
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Politics 16The Message Box, by Dan Pfiefferthousands$74,3004,714
Statisticians: please do borrow & improve
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Politics 17Press Run, by Eric Boehlertthousands$64,5005,167
DM @hautepop with intel / builds / disagreement
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Politics 18Erik Erikson's Confessions of a Political Junkiethousands$73,4004,2143000
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Politics 19Gray Mirror by Curtis Yarvinthousands$102,0002,800Actual fascist
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Politics 20Wide World of News by Mark Halperinthousands$50?????540
This pricing x "thousands" followers x ranking doesn't add up - I'm going to guess it's a new rate & was previously lower, and/or yearly subs much lower
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Politics 21Tangle, by Isaac Saulthousands$53,2005,200
"Brought in $190K its first year" - so I'm too low... https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/11/business/media/substack-newsletter-competition.html
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Politics 22Wild, Holy & Free by Austin Channing Brownthousands$72,0003,571
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Politics 23Foreign Exchangesthousands$52,5504,800
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Politics 24Welcome to Hell World, by Luke O'Neilthousands$6.661,6503,453at least 1250
another leftist substack. was "grossing over $100k annually" (8.3K month / ) by summer 2020
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Politics 25The Informant by Nick Martinthousands$5.991,670
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FInance 1The Bitcoin Forecast by Willy Woothousands$5017503,140
??? finger in the air here. will chart rank x log revenue & refine
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Finance 2Jonah's Best Growth Stocks by Jonah Luptonthousands$1070008,000
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Finance 3Petition [distressed assets for investors]thousands$4912001,0821000
Used this as a lower bound back in Aug ('thousands)
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Finance 4Bankless [DeFi, blockchain]thousands$2220001,8181400
Has nearly doubled its price (was $12 in Aug 20)
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Finance 5The Macro Tourist, by Kevin Muirthousands$3511001,000950
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Finance 6Notes on the Crises, by Nathan Tankusthousands$1030002,5002500
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Finance 7The Bear Cave, by Edwin Dorseyhundreds$44491491
Author has shared hard numbers, what a mensch https://twitter.com/StockJabber/status/1361428648939696131
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Finance 8Rekt Capitalthousands$6.9927002,647
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Finance 9The Held Report by Dan Heldthousands$1511001,100
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Finance 10Market Meditations by Koroush AKhundreds$17.99800800Near a bound
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Finance 11Snowball by Yoann Lopezthousands$7.1218001,800EUR 6
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Finance 12Ironsides Macroeconomicshundreds$89125129Bound
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Finance 13the Lund Loophundreds$10900990Bound
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Finance 14Crypto Insights by Blockrootshundreds$19.90400477
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Finance 15Alpha Alarm by Nick Chonghundreds$14.99500600
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Tech 1Astral Codex Ten, by Scott Alexander thousands$103,500new
Reddit reckon 5,500 followers, but by I think that's perhaps too high: power law here maybe isn't perfect Zipf? https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/l2zij5/astral_codex_ten_is_now_1_in_the_technology/gkg16d5/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3
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Tech 2Exponential View by Azeem Azharthousands$1221001900
Claimed 53K total followers in Aug, 59K total now. Assuming same conversion rate
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Tech 3The Diff, by Byrne Hobartthousands$201150950
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Tech 4Insight, by Zeynep Tufekcithousands$102200new
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Tech 5Platformer by Casey Newtonthousands$102000new
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Tech 6The Defiant, by Camilla Russothousands$101900
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Tech 7Newcomer (on VC)thousands$151200
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Tech 8Mule's Musingshundreds$20850
Near upper bound
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Tech 9Technically, by Justin Gagehundreds$82,000
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Tech 10The Sequencethousands$53000
"Over 70,000 readers" total
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Business 1The Pomp Letter, by Andrew Pomplianothousands$1045003000
Could be higher. Has grown fast.
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Business 2Lenny's Newsletter, by Lenny Rachitskythousands$1525001300
Another fast grower.
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Business 3Nongaap Investing, by Mikehundreds$39800newbound
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Business 4The Ankler, by Richard Rushfieldthousands$1027001800
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Business 5DeFi Pulse Farmerhundreds$50400
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Business 6The Profile, by Polina Marinova Pomplianothousands$101800
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Business 7Noahpinion, by Noah Smiththousands$101650
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Business 8DirectorMoves, by George Fleckthousands$101500
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Business 9Pulte's Money And Life Thoughtsthousands$72100
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Business 10The Fintech Blueprint, by Lexhundreds$15900
useful bound here
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Business 11Yet Another Value Blog Premium, by Andrew Walkerhundreds$124.99100
useful bound here - except need to check risk of weird monthly/annual pricing model.
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Business 12European Straits, by Nicholas Colinhundreds$21.00500£15 GBP
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Business 13Sake Industry Newshundreds$10850
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Business 14Markting Flow, by Pierre & Meganehundreds$10.69700EUR 9
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Business 15Business Breakdowns by Ryan Reeveshundreds$51300
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Culture 1The Audacity, by Roxane Gaythousands$67,200
"Audience of 36,000, about 20% of them paying" (April 2021 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/11/business/media/substack-newsletter-competition.html)
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Culture 2Proof, by Seth Abramsonthousands$54000
Subscriber count from About page, 10 March -- credit @nbj914 for the tip! https://sethabramson.substack.com/about
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Culture 3It Bears Mentioniong, by John McWorterthousands$5
Has just overtaken AHP in around 20 March
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Culture 4Culture Study, by Anne Helen Petersenthousands$5
Real shortage of edges to estimate anything from :\
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Culture 5Maybe Baby, by Haley Nahmanthousands$5
Wonder if any of them have given nos. to press?
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Culture 6Hung Up, by Hunter Harristhousands$5
Dear reader if you have any good ideas please help :)
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Culture 7Web Worm ,with David Farrierthousands$6.99
DM me @hautepop
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Culture 8Creme de la Creme, by Amintou Sowthousands$7
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Culture 9Rich Text, by Claire Fallon & Emma Graythousands$8
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Culture 10SHERO by Amy Vanderpoolthousands$6
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Culture 11Blackbird Spyplanethousands$5
The second best Substack.
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Culture 12The Shatner Chatner, by Daniel Laverythousands$51800
Figure given in April NYT article https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/11/business/media/substack-newsletter-competition.html
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Culture 13And It Don't Stop, by Robert Cristgauthousands$5
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Culture 14Books/Snacks/Softcore, by Samantha Irbythousands$5
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Culture 15Power Plays by Lindsay Gibbthousands$8
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News 1Sinocism by Bill Bishopthousands$1542007000
August 2020 estimate was off
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News 2News Items by John Ellisthousands$921001400
Has grown more like 50% than the average 20%ish? since Aug 20? Hm.
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News 3Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletterthousands$92000
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News 4Top Secret Umbra, by John Schindlerthousands$151000Lower bound tho
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News 5The Mill [UK local]hundreds$9.69950GBP 7
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News 6Numlock Newsthousands$51700
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News 7Yashar's Newsletter by Yashar Alithousands$51500
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News 8Inside The Newsroomthousands$51300
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News 9Worcester Sucks and I Love It, by Bill Shanerhundreds$5950
bound! Love to get one
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News 10City Hall Watcher by Matt Elliothundreds$4.51950
CA 5.65. "Over 900 paying subscribers", Feb 2021 https://nowtoronto.com/culture/toronto-writers-substack-newsletter-now-what-podcast
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Substack have very little depth in news - but some interesting experiments in local reporting
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