Transitioning To Subscription Content, Twitter Introduces A Paid Weather News Service
With the new weather news offering named 'Tomorrow,' Twitter is introducing its first official paid newsletter service this week. For a monthly charge, users will receive up-to-date weather information and insights. Tomorrow will give weather information for specific regions, taking advantage of Twitter's recently acquired Revue mailing tools as well as the platform's growing spectrum of creative revenue opportunities, such as ticketed Spaces.
Working in collaboration with a group of climate experts, the project led by meteorologist Eric Holthaus will provide local weather forecasts, beginning with a small number of US states. According to Holthaus, the team will be doing local newsletters, drop-in audio chats during times of scary weather, original journalism focused on climate justice, and a paid service that will let people ask unlimited questions. He described Tomorrow as a ‘revolutionary weather service for a revolutionary moment in history.’ The project will begin with data for 16 states, but Holthaus hopes to grow his team over time to cover more regions before expanding out to other countries with strong Twitter usage, of which many lack access to in-depth weather resources. Tomorrow will cost $10 per month at launch, and users will receive the following benefits, according to the Tomorrow website: • Ability to ask our team of meteorologists unlimited weather and climate questions with a guaranteed response • A members-only weekly newsletter, with uncut interviews • Early access to podcast episodes and original longform journalism • Discounts on Tomorrow merch and other members-only perks • 1% of all member revenue will used to support Environmental Justice organizations. The more members we have, the bigger the impact It's an intriguing initial experiment for the Twitter/Revue cooperation, which Twitter also mentions focuses on developing a writer 'collective' for revenue, which is something it wants to pursue further in different niches. That effectively transforms a project like Tomorrow into a more traditional publishing model with a major banner brand, then many journalists and specialists joining on to produce a more comprehensive product and sharing revenue amongst the group, rather than each writer opting for a solo email. Revue has collaborated with a number of these collectives and is aiming to form more to develop stronger subscription services, which could create a more sustainable funding model for original journalism through direct support. It's essentially a smaller, more direct version of the traditional media business model, without the dependency on advertising. The crucial concern is whether this model can sustain more specialised offers, as well as what happens when they reach a certain level. As a result, it'll be intriguing to see how Tomorrow is welcomed, and whether the combination with Twitter might help independent journalism reach a wider audience and generate more revenue.