Why We’re Launching Paid Newsletters

6 Mar

For more than 40 years, Outside has helped our readers live more active and adventurous lives. We’ve encouraged you to pursue deeper experiences, make smarter lifestyle choices, and seek out wilder places. These goals have taken on new urgency at a moment when America’s relationship with the outdoors is at a crossroads.  

In recent months, we’ve focused our attention on the enormous threats to our public lands, publishing a series of ambitious stories, including profiles of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Utah congressman Rob Bishop and investigations into sexual harassment on America’s rivers. These reports have had a major impact on the national dialogue. Now we’re eager to expand our efforts in 2018 by delving into critically important—and often overlooked—topics, like the intersection of race and politics in the outdoors and the rising influence of women athletes on sports and gear. We’re also making it a priority to reach a younger, city-dwelling audience in a way that inspires them to join us outside.

Outside is fortunate to have incredible partnerships with key brands in our industry that provide advertising to support our goals. But as the business of media continues to rapidly evolve, it’s essential that our readers play a bigger role in our financial future. Ultimately, we work for you. Now, as we ramp up our storytelling to meet new challenges, we’re asking you to make a direct contribution to our efforts.

Starting today, we’re launching a series of paid newsletters with Substack. We’re asking you to support journalism on the subjects you care most about. Your subscription to these newsletters will directly pay for the stories they deliver to your inbox. And because the upheavals in publishing have been especially painful for writers and reporters, we’re making their compensation a priority: They’ll get a direct cut of the revenue.

As a first step, we’ll be sending out a weekly newsletter: Dawn Patrol, which will contain in-depth and honest reviews of women's gear. For $5 a month, you’ll be able to access these stories through the newsletter or through Substack’s website. You’ll also be able to send us questions about the products we’re reviewing and receive personalized answers from Outside editors. Over time, our intent is to increase our publishing frequency and use subscriber payments to fund more free stories on Outside.

In the coming month, we plan to roll out more newsletters on issues affecting public lands, plus one dedicated to covering the leading edge of fitness. And we aim to keep iterating: We’ll do whatever it takes to make these subscriptions as valuable as possible. (We also are working with our industry partners to offer something truly new and compelling to members of our community. Stay tuned.)

In the meantime, subscribe! By supporting this newsletter, you can help us keep Outside free and home to the unique stories you’ve come to expect from us.