Andrew Curtin Founder of North Avenue is keen to grow his subscriber base. Andrew tells IIBN that North Avenue is a modern-day media company. We deliver millennial-focused business news to your inbox every Tuesday & Thursday.
You can visit and subscribe to North Avenue here
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
Grow to 50,000 subscribers by the end of 2020. Exceptional content production and subscriber growth are my two main priorities now. I’ve worked with content creators before, and many of them can get blinded by growth, leading to a decrease in the quality of their content. Consumers have an abundance of content to select from, so each piece we produce must be adding value.
What are your biggest challenges?
Our content lives in your email, which is a very personal and intimate place for people. It can be difficult to get subscribers due to the amount of salesy email newsletters out there. For over 20 years, brands have been bombarding subscribers with “buy my stuff” style emails, so it can be tricky to overcome that barrier.
Also, many media companies rely on paid subscriptions, which has created a perception that you must pay for all news content. We provide free content, but I often get messages like “is it free or do I have to pay to sign-up”, which creates another hurdle.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
Media is a tricky one. The competition for eyeballs is fierce. From engaging with our subscribers, the paid subscription model online newspapers depend on will dry out in time. Millennials don’t want to pay for everyday news content, thus creating a smaller demographic for these big players.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
Niche industry insights publications are going to explode. You will see weekly publications based on stuff like “the food truck business” soon. Companies will have to collaborate with researchers, executives, CEOs, and more to make this type of content though. It cannot be “generic content”. If done well, this could be some millennials actually pay for.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
Ads need to become more native to the content you’re reading. Often when I read an article I’m hit with ads that are completely irrelevant to me, and hampers my reading experience. I would like to see this area tightened up.
How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?
GDPR laws. This is definitely a worry. We collect a lot of data to help create content, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on these laws.
What’s next for your company?
If we can keep producing quality content and grow our subscriber base to 50,000 by the end of 2020, we will have hit our first milestone. After that, it’s time to look for funding. Organic growth will only get us so far.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?
Creating a referral program will be a key growth mechanism for us. The referral program will give readers a unique URL to share with their friends, asking them to sign up for North Avenue. For example, if you refer 5 friends, you get a T-shirt, if you refer 10 friends, you get access to our Slack group, and so forth.
Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
I’d like to see us to be an every morning news email, giving millennials an injection of knowledge before starting work.