Substack offers software to help people set up free or paid-for newsletters and promises the people creating them that they can write what they want and that they own their own mailing list and can take it with them if they leave.
Substack, they argue, is tearing apart that coalition of workers by ripping out the stars. But Douglas McCabe, media analyst at Enders Analysis, isn’t quite so sure.
“The internet just creates this endless cycle of aggregation, disaggregation, aggregation and disaggregation and that is an internet story, full stop,” he says. Substack “will end up aggregating particular kinds of content and trying to sell a single price point to access these 20 writers who talk about the environment or talk about the future of technology, or whatever it is they talk about”.