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LinkedIn finds early newsletter success, but there’s more to come

The news: LinkedIn’s newsletter strategy is paying off. In an interview with The Information, director of product management Keren Baruch said Linkedin now boasts 63,000 newsletters, 10 times more than one year ago.

The newsletter boom? LinkedIn’s newsletter growth stands in contrast to the troubles facing companies like Substack, which were catapulted to success during the pandemic but have had a hard time maintaining growth or profitability since. Last May, Substack canceled its Series C fundraising round after investor interest slowed.

  • It’s not just Substack that’s struggling: Meta and Twitter both canned their newsletter projects recently to cut costs. But LinkedIn’s content has been able to succeed due to its integration with the platform’s regular feed and engaged users.
  • Rather than being created by LinkedIn or companies on the platform, any user can offer a newsletter. Furthermore, newsletters can show up in Linkedin’s newsfeed, allowing them to reach more users than if they were limited to email only.

What’s next? LinkedIn newsletters are a creator economy success, but parent company Microsoft has grander designs for them as a generator of advertising revenue.

  • LinkedIn newsletters were rolled out alongside several marketing and analytics features but lack crucial advertising infrastructure themselves.
  • At present, LinkedIn creators looking to monetize their newsletters must reach out to advertisers directly. But it likely won’t be long before Microsoft adds functionality that connects users with advertisers a la TikTok’s Creator Marketplace.
  • Through such a service, creators and advertisers with overlapping interests can forge partnerships, perhaps with Microsoft taking a cut of revenues. Microsoft’s push into artificial intelligence could also come into play, helping to automate ads for creators’ newsletters.