Today, Endpoints News is one year old. Like any thriving infant, we’ve been growing at a fast pace, outgrowing a hastily crafted christening garment.
Starting from scratch, with just social media and a lot of word of mouth to rely on, web traffic to Endpoints was less than 14,000 visits per week. Today we notch 14,000 per day, with a total of 139,000 unique readers coming to the website in May.
Email subscriptions — the most important metric we track — grew from zilch to 16,000 daily biopharma subscribers drawn to our independent style of journalism. This was a result of organic, word-of-mouth advocacy from our biggest fans. Endpoints’ “open rate”, the percentage of readers who actually open and read the email reports, has never fallen below 40% — far above industry averages and more than double the rate you see at similar publications.
I’ve written — this is a rough ballpark figure — more than 650,000 words on R&D over the past 12 months. And we continue to grow our traffic monthly at a double-digit rate.
I am essentially at about 60% of the readership I had before I decided to do a bootstrap startup publication for biopharma R&D. And believe me, it’s the best 60%, as I’ve found during events we’ve hosted along the way of our maiden voyage in San Francisco and Boston and Europe. The rest will come along, and we’ll be ready to shoot past old markers and focus on achieving bigger goals in the year ahead.
So where do we go from here?
Commitment to open-access and high expectations for free content
My partner, Arsalan Arif, and I grew up in this online business media world. We believe that to get a big audience you need to concentrate on an open-access model.
In plain English, the news must remain free.
That hasn’t changed and it’s not going to. But we are looking to grow the team here at Endpoints, adding content as we expand readership further. And that’s going to take new revenue, on top of the advertising we’ve built up and continue to grow.
A few weeks ago, we ran a reader survey asking you whether you would consider paying $200 a year for a subscription. Most said there wasn’t a chance. You have high expectations for free content and you weren’t about to change. Some said they’d pay, but the figure sounded high. And you were fine with the email blasts from advertisers.
To all of you, we say thank you for spending part of your work day with us. We’ll work for you every day of the week.
But about 20% of you felt that you would gladly pay that, either to support the work we’re doing here or to pay for direct access to the report without any email blasts from advertisers.
It was, in fact, about 50/50 on that score.
Announcing Endpoints Insider
On July 10, we’ll roll out Endpoints Insider, our paid subscription model. If you’d like to support our work here — or simply want all the content without the advertising — please sign up here. The cost is $200/year (no payment details required today).
Endpoints Insider pre-registration
No payment details required today
In addition to supporting us and enjoying an ad-free experience, I’ll be moving my opinion pieces behind the paywall, offering easier access to the editorial team for any queries you may have, and Insiders can instantly download print-ready PDF versions of all articles so you can print or share internally on your terms. Later we’ll add a few other subscriber-only pieces, but all of the daily biopharma news we publish will remain free and easily accessed to those of you who like things as they are. That is not going to change and you don’t have to do anything to keep receiving Endpoints News and messages from our advertisers.
I’d like to thank you all for the literally thousands of messages of support we’ve received along the way. When you start up your own independent business in an industry like this, you find lots of support for the entrepreneurial attitude we’ve adopted. And if you would like to add your subscription to help support that, we’d appreciate that as well.
One way or the other, we’ll keep working 24/7 on your behalf. It’s been quite a ride, and we’re just getting started putting candles on that cake. But without you, this all means nothing. — John Carroll
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