Media Fortune Fame & Folly

Twitter buys subs platform

Twitter has acquired Scroll, a paid for service charging users $5 per month to read content without advertising. Media brands using the service include: The Atlantic, The Verge, USA Today, The Daily Beast, and BuzzFeed. It hadn’t been able to get publishers like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to join the network – even though they have been investors. The Scroll team of 13 people are joining Twitter.

The acquisition reflects Twitter’s push towards subscription revenue following its acquisition of Revue, a newsletter platform and competitor to Substack. It now aims to double revenue from $3.7bn in 2020 to over $7.5bn in 2023. Terms not disclosed but Scroll had raised $10m from investors including the New York Times, Samsung, Bertelsmann, Axel Springer, Union Square Ventures, and Gannett.

Twitter says: “Looking ahead, Scroll will become a meaningful addition to our subscriptions work as we build and shape a future subscription service on Twitter. As a Twitter subscriber, picture getting access to premium features where you can easily read articles from your favorite news outlet or a writer’s newsletter from Revue, with a portion of your subscription going to the publishers and writers creating the content.”

In the first three months of 2021, Twitter had 199m daily users and $1.04bn revenue, both up 20%+ year-on-year.