Substack Statistics in 2022: Users, Revenue & More
Independent writers have found themselves a big window of opportunities since Substack launched back in 2017.
Nowadays, the Substack platform has managed to rise in a market where people look for solutions, and others provide them.
Now, with tens of thousands of users and writers, the subscription model implemented by Substack has proven to be successful.
Whether you are looking for interesting Substack newsletters or starting your own email list, it’s important to check out interesting statistics about this platform.
Search no more - in today’s blog post on our site, we are going to provide you with the information you are looking for about the following topics:
- Substack Statistics in 2022;
- Understanding Substack subscriptions, readers, and overall market data;
- The past, present, and future of Substack.
Substack Key Stats Highlights
Substack is a paid subscription platform where any independent writer with a useful newsletter can create an account, start publishing, and make money through acquiring subscribers.
The Substack service is free to access, so anyone can post and surf through publications before deciding to subscribe to a specific page.
But, before getting started with paid subscriptions and news data, let’s take a quick overview at Substack:
- Google searches show that, according to many traffic sources, the interest in Substack and similar websites reached its peak in mid-2021;
- The data shows that the competition in paid subscriptions writers model is increasing - a good example of this is Revue by Twitter;
- As of 2021’s Q4, Substack had 104 employees - they are planning to hire aggressively during the following year so their platform improves in every aspect;
- Forbes describes Substack as a “way for writers and readers to find freedom by giving and receiving what they love;”
- As of 2022’s Q1, there isn’t a mobile app for Substack, but the platform is working to implement one over a year or less.
Tens of thousands of users are using Substack every day, but not all of them are newsletter subscribers.
Writers, readers, and other visitors find Substack to be a great tool for plenty of purposes.
The company is aware of their steady growth, so they have published relevant information regarding new visitors and users.
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Substack User Base Growth and Traffic
First of all, it’s important to mention that we don’t exactly know how many people are using Substack for free.
Someone can write content and free articles just to gain traction on the platform, but the company only provides support and data for paid subscribers.
Nonetheless, if we analyze the continued growth of their traffic, we can safely state that Substack receives over 29 million visitors each month.
The platform had well over 18 million back in May 2021, so 29 million in 2022’s Q1 is a substantial increase in the number of Substack users.
Substack Paying Subscribers
Back in February 2021, Substack launched an official blog post announcing that they reached the astonishing mark of 500,000 paid subscribers on the platform.
Nonetheless, this number doubled in less than a year:
- In July 2019, there were 50,000 paying subscribers;
- In 2020, the number of paid subscriptions reached its peak at 250,000 paying subscribers in September;
- These numbers doubled to 500,000 paying subscribers in February 2021,
- Right now, according to Statista, there are over 1 million paying subscribers at the beginning of 2022. Remarkable!
What’s more, it is safe to mention that not all writers receive money through paying subscribers.
In fact, most readers just check out free media.
Overall, only 10% of Substack’s readership pays money to check out news, newsletters, or a post from a writer.
Substack Writers & Creators
Subscribers are the ones who power up the revenue and growth of the platform, but the people that charge for writing are those who actually provide amazingly useful information for their audiences.
That’s why there are tens of thousands of writers who have seen their income increasing steadily over the last few months.
Naturally, whether they are publishing an email list, paid newsletters, or informational blog post content, they need active readers and new readers in order to keep their success coming.
Read Also: Substack isn’t the only platform where writers provide paid newsletters, an email list, or a post for subscribers.
Patreon is also a great alternative for those writing folks looking to make a living via the added support of their subscribers.
Check out some cool Patreon Statistics in our blog post!
Substack Creator Earnings Growth
The top earners on Substack make an average of $5,000 to $30,000 per month with the people that subscribe to their content.
Each subscription can have a different value depending on the intentions of the creator.
Overall, the yearly earnings of most writers have potentially increased over the years:
- In September 2020, the top authors in Substack made $7 million a year;
- This changed at the beginning of 2021, where top authors made up to $15 million a year;
- Starting 2022, top earners make $20 million a year, all thanks to the tens of thousands paid subscribers continuously joining the Substack.
Substack Top Earners
The top earners’ list is divided into categories.
Writing can go from a simple email list, to complex paid newsletters with up-to-date information.
Of course, the people who subscribe can search for their favorite categories before deciding to put their money somewhere.
In the top 5, subscribers prefer the following creators:
- The Dispatch, which provides paid newsletters on policy, culture, and other topics earns more than $10,000 each month;
- Lenny’s Newsletters covers business topics by charging tens of thousands of subscribers $15 per month;
- Proof, a culture newsletter charges $5 per month, and they also have tens of thousands of subscribers;
- Letters from an American by Heather Cox Richardson, a newsletter focused on American politics, have published thousands of posts at a rate of $5 per month;
- PETITION is the place where people go for curated financial news, and they charge up to $49 per month to their subscribers on their email list.
Other creators, such as Sinocism by Bill Bishop and The Weekly Dish by Andrew Sullivan, also rise to the top 10 on Substack’s top creators page.
Substack makes money by charging a 10% fee from what writers charge.
Likewise, there are some transactional fees charged by Stripe, but these fees don’t directly go to the platform.
Substack Revenue Growth
Although Substack doesn’t share full information related to their annual revenue, GrowJo.com estimated that the annual revenue of the platform is at $21.3 million per year.
Of course, in order to calculate the revenue earned by the company, it’s fundamental to break down the number of paid subscribers and the amount of money that the platform pays to creators.
We know how many people have a paid Substack account, so GrowJo’s estimations are about right.
Let’s talk about numbers now.
It is clear that while most subscribers invest their money on creators, the value and general worth of Substack will increase non-stop.
Understanding how the company has advanced since it was founded can give us valuable insights into its future.
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According to TechCrunch, in 2022 Substack is worth an astonishing number of $650 million.
It has been estimated that Substack’s worth back in 2019 was just $48 million, so the value of the company has substantially increased over time.
Nonetheless, besides the impressive number of subscribers on Substack, there are a couple of factors that lead Substack to be worth this much: founding rounds.
There have been a total of 4 funding rounds for Substack, each funding round bigger than the other.
According to Crunch Base, the company has raised a total of $82.4 in fundings.
- The first funding round took place back in 2018 and consisted of a pre-seed round of $120,000;
- Later on, Seed and Seed A rounds raised $2 million and $15,3 million, respectively;
- The biggest round happened in March 2021, and it consisted of an amount of $65 million.
With the increasing number of users and subscribers on Substack, we can only expect things to go bigger and bigger while time passes.
Substack and Independent Writing in 2022 and Beyond
Independent writers are barely starting to realize the power of their work.
Substack serves as the bridge that connects writers with subscribers that are looking exactly for the content provided by them.
The Substack company has already stated that they have big plans for 2022 and beyond.
For instance, instead of just having monthly subscribers, creators on Substack will be able to charge for yearly subscriptions.
On top of that, new video features and the expansion of their workforce is also on the paper so far.
Thus, it is safe to say that Substack will continue to gain even more relevance and perhaps double their numbers before we even realize it.
One thing’s for sure - you will always find the latest Substack’s updated here, at GrowFollowing.
Is It Easy to Get Paid Subscribers on Substack?
Creating content and getting subscribers is a task that requires dedication, persistence, and knowledge.
Getting subscribers that pay for your content isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either.
Learn more about starting a new paid campaign on Substack by clicking here.
What is Substack’s Payment Provider?
Stripe is the main payment provider for Substack.
That’s why there’s a 2.9% + 30 cents fee charged to writers from the amount they charge to subscribers as well.
This fee, just like the main Substack fee, is unavoidable.
Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.
Oliver is GrowFollowing founder and covers topics ranging from fintech to Internet.