Commentary

'Axios' Shows How Publishers Are Testing New Revenue Sources

Axios Media Inc. next month plans to start a subscription service, but not one aimed at readers. Instead, the publisher will launch a software-as-a-service platform called AxiosHQ to help companies with their internal communications.

The idea is to charge at least $10,000 a year for access to software tools that help companies punch up the writing of company newsletters, mimicking the style of Axios'digital news. Its editorial content is geared for the mobile age with bulleted stories that are easy to read quickly.

The articles have sections such as: "Why it matters" and "The big picture" to put news into context.

AxiosHQ's tools will recommend changes to grammar and usage based on a database of edits from its editorial staff, The Wall Street Journal reported. A premium service tier provides access to editors who offer writing tips.
One of those editors used to help on the daily presidential briefing for President Trump -- someone with a notoriously short attention span -- according to multiple press reports.
AxiosHQ is notable as Axios' first subscription service, which can help to diversify its revenue away from advertising. The company last year turned a profit on sales growth of 40% to more than $60 million, the WSJ reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The service will align Axios to compete more directly with software companies that provide authoring tools. Estimates of the total addressable market for content creation software vary widely, depending on how it's categorized. Adobe, the maker of Photoshop, once estimated the creative software industry would have a global value of $31 billion by next year, but that forecast included all kinds of products.
Separately, publishers like Vox, The Washington Post and Hearst that created content management systems for their internal use have sought to monetize that investment by licensing their technology to other companies.
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