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January 21, 2022updated 30 Sep 2022 10:57am

Axios launches $599-a-year Pro newsletters: Q&A with senior editor George Moriarty

By William Turvill and Andrew Kersley

Axios, the five-year-old publishing startup that has established itself as a leading source of national news in the US, has launched three premium newsletters that will sell subscriptions for $599 a year.

Axios Pro’s first three newsletters cover mergers and acquisitions (M&A) news in the fintech, health technology and retail sectors. The company plans to launch titles for media deals and climate deals by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Following a free two-week trial, a subscription to any individual newsletter costs $599 a year. Readers can instead choose to subscribe to all Axios Pro content for $1,799, or $2,499 after its initial offer period ends.

In addition to individuals, Axios is preparing for corporate subscription interest. A spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We are developing corporate group rates in response to demand. These will be offered on a sliding scale percentage based on the number of total subscribers.”

Axios expects Pro to appeal to senior executives within industries, as well as investment bankers, venture capitalists, private equity employees, and other deal professionals (more detail in Q&A below).

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Axios Pro newsletters will be published daily, while subscribers will also receive access to exclusive Pro events.

The Pro team currently consists of 16 Axios employees. The editorial team is led by senior editor George Moriarty, who joined from InvestmentNews, and editor Michael Flaherty, who previously worked for communications agency Gladstone Place Partners.

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The new subscription service was in part inspired by the success of the free Axios Pro Rata newsletter, which covers deals and investment across different sectors and has around 200,000 subscribers.

Overall, Axios currently reports having 2.4m free subscribers and an email open rate of around 40%.

In addition to its national newsletter brands, Axios is also in the process of expanding its local newsletter business. Axios Local plans to be active in 25 cities later this year.

Q&A with Axios Pro senior editor George Moriarty

Q: How will Axios Pro interact with the free side of Axios? Will there be much collaboration?

A: “Nick Johnston, the publisher, and I share the mindset that the worst way to run a subscription component in a newsroom is to have any silos.

“We want the doors to be open, we want to be sharing ideas, leveraging the best of the talent we have at Axios. So it’s definitely going to be collaborative.”

Q: Will news stories be shared and promoted between the premium and free sides of the business?

A: “Yes, absolutely. We would expect [that with] some of the deals that get scooped by our deals folks, we’ll want to get some of those in front of the paywall.”

Q: Who do you expect to subscribe to Axios Pro?

A: “Certainly, in terms of early interest, we’ve heard a lot from some of the larger firms that are the deal-making organisations.

“I think it’s going to be reflective of the deal-making community. So there will be enterprises that are purchasing deals, but there will also be some individuals who follow it…

“Beyond the obvious, you always get that second ring of the community that people don’t always think of – some independent recruiters, some lawyers. There will be a blend, I would imagine.”

Q: How many verticals will Axios Pro ultimately cover?

A: “Long term, we certainly believe there are a number of areas within the Pro deals world that could be met with an audience. But we want to see how these do first before we get ahead of ourselves…

“But I can say confidently that we all expect it to be more than five.”

Q: What do readers get from a Pro subscription?

A: “There’s a daily newsletter that will go out every business day, and that’s where the journalists are going to be sharing their insights and reporting on deals across the spectrum – so not just publicly-announced deals that have closed, but finding deals that are in-market or coming to market. Or if deals are in trouble [we’ll cover that]. And also identifying trends.

“Beyond that, we will be doing community events. And those will be some in-person, some reactions to spot news. I believe strongly that one of the ways a publication like this can really succeed is to give folks an opportunity to hear from experts in the field.”

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