Steady: Ready, steady, go
In the midst of an evolving digital landscape, one of the biggest challenges publishers and journalists face is monetising their content.
But there is cause for optimism. Supported by the DNI Fund, a small start-up in Germany is providing journalists with the technology and marketing tools they need to build a membership base and generate revenue. The DNI Fund delivered two-thirds of the money the team needed to write the code and take the first steps to market. It also provided the momentum to keep the project on track. Already, over 200 journalists and other content creators, such as YouTubers and podcasters, are earning a regular income thanks to Steady.
“Our goal is to promote and enable media that is funded by an audience, not by big business, online ads or influential benefactors,” explains Founder and Managing Director, Philipp Schwörbel. “We call it ‘people-powered media’, because it is the readers or viewers who are the ones that make it financially possible.”
Philipp and his business partner have personal experience of how difficult it is for new publishers to make a living. Even though their online magazine Krautreporter was funded by Germany’s most successful crowdfunding campaign, it came close to failure. “It’s one thing for a journalist to be great at reporting, but another entirely for them to master online marketing, recurring payment issues and membership management,” adds Philipp. “That experience was the inspiration behind Steady, because we realised that there are many more ‘Krautreporters’ out there that need some support. Using Steady, publishers can easily earn monthly payments from their supporters while retaining full control over their projects, copyright and content. There’s no such thing as a typical Steady publisher – they cover a wide range of topics and while some of them are one-man-shows earning just a few hundred Euros a month, others are teams of up to 15 people bringing in regular five-figure monthly revenues. What they all have in common is access to a range of tools from Steady that they can integrate directly in their websites and blogs to gain memberships.” The results make impressive reading. As well as the 200+ people now earning an income from their publishing activities, the growth of the project has led to the creation of six new jobs at Steady and the receipt of a further €500,000 in funding from other backers.