An interesting email arrived in my inbox this morning. It was from Stephen Mayne, telling me, along with 5,300 other subscribers, that he and his wife had sold their e-magazine crikey.com.au for $A1 million.
The interesting thing about this is the business plan that Mayne established. Although the website holds plenty of interesting articles about Australian politics, news, sports, media and business, the main effort that Mayne and his team put their energies into is the daily news email. Subscribers pay a fee, and in return, the daily email with between 15 and 20 news and gossip items come into their inbox.
It is a gossipy sort of publication, but no more so then the mainstream Australian media, and it was at least a different point of view then the reliably statist points of view that are published in the mainstream Australian press. Although Mayne has given up control, he will still be contributing so I hope the ‘crikey.com.au’ spirit lives on, and I am pleased for Mayne personally. The man has worked incredibly hard over the last five years to build up his little niche in the Australian media.
And it also gives hope to others that there is a long term viability to ‘new media’. You do have to work incredibly hard, and take risks, and you need a bit of luck. The only equivilent online publication I can think of is the Indian website Tehelka.com, which, after many adventures, seems to have made the transition from online to print media. (Samizdata magazine, anyone?). So well done to Mayne, and I hope he enjoys his new fortune to go with his more established fame.