With a new weather news offering named “Currently,” Twitter is introducing its first official paid newsletter service, delivering up-to-date weather information and insights for a monthly charge.
Currently will deliver meteorological information for specific regions, incorporating Twitter’s recently acquired Revue newsletter features, as well as the platform’s growing spectrum of creative revenue opportunities, such as Ticketed Spaces. The project will be led by meteorologist Eric Holthaus, who will collaborate with a group of climate experts to provide local weather forecasts, beginning with a small number of US states. The initiative will begin with data for 16 states, but Holthaus hopes to extend his staff over time to cover more regions before expanding into other countries with strong Twitter usage, many of which lack access to in-depth weather resources.
Holthaus explains on his Twitter feed:
“We’ll 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. It’s a revolutionary weather service for a revolutionary moment in history.”
What you get with Currently membership
Currently will cost members $10 per month, which, according to the Currently website, will give subscribers access to the following:
- 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’s collective’ for revenue, which is something it wants to pursue further in different niches. That effectively transforms a project like Currently 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. All these news ventures by Twitter are sure to drive user engagement even further.
It will be interesting to see how Currently is seen and received by users, and whether the combination with Twitter might help independent journalism reach a wider audience and generate more revenue.
It’s essentially an alternative to the traditional media business model, but on a smaller, more direct scale, and without the dependency on advertisements. The main question is whether additional niche services like these can be sustained, as well as what happens when they reach a certain magnitude.
To sign up for Currently’s free newsletters, head over to currentlyhq.com.
Photo via Currently