Good things come in threes
8 March 2020
So, The Squiz been around for three years. In dog years, it means we’re 21yo… Which is kinda appropriate because we are having fun. A. Lot. Of. Fun. We’re also in that stage of development as a business where we’re bigger, we’ve got some more experience under our belt, and we’re stepping it up. And so, to answer some of your questions, which build nicely on those from last year, without further adieu…
How big are you now? Sarah
We now have more than 40,000 email subscribers and we get 30,000-plus Squiz Today podcast listens each day. Which is amazing. We’ve been growing in line with how we’d hoped.
I’ve been with the Squiz from the start, and I’ve just noticed lately some more of my friends have come across you. Does that mean you’re going well? Paulina
First, thank you for your ongoing support. Whether you’ve been a Squizer for three years or three days, it means the world to us. Second, we are excited that our growth means we have the opportunity to keep going. We have big plans for The Squiz, and as long as you continue to read the emails, listen to the podcasts, and refer us to your people, we’ll have the chance to bat on. But those three things have to keep happening, and we don’t take it – or you – for granted.
At the risk of asking too personal a question, I would love to understand a bit more about your business model. I think it’s amazing that you’re able to offer such high quality products for free. How do you make sure that you are able to put a meal on the table for yourselves every day? Aaron
Aaron, we thought you were going to ask us about the shampoo we use… The short story is The Squiz was self-funded by our founder Claire Kimball for the first year. By then we had a small amount of advertising revenue which got us through the next six months when we did a small capital raising. And over the last 18 months as we’ve grown our subscriber numbers, we’ve also taken further steps to commercialise. It’s a challenge – but one we’re feeling positive about.
I’m happy to pay for the content you produce. How can I do that? Emma
Emma, that’s amazing, but put your wallet away. What’s not on the table for us is charging subscribers for the email or podcasts we currently produce. But you can buy us a coffee anytime. We drink a lot of coffee…
You sometimes reference Squiz HQ, where is that? And do you wear PJs all day? Marie
Ha, we wish… Claire, Kate Watson (who’s now on parental leave) and Larissa Moore record the Squiz Today podcast from their homes in their jim-jams at 5am. It’s not particularly pretty… But then it’s into the office. We are in a shared working space called The Hub in Sydney during office hours. Then it’s home to get the next day’s content sorted. Bryce Corbett, the host of the Squiz Kids podcast, does all of it remotely.
Who’s on Team Squiz these days? Jono
There’s Claire (founder/CEO), Kate (shareholder/commercial director/podcast co-host/new mum), and Larissa (engagement director/podcast co-host). Lara Robertson (content manager) has been with us full-time since the start of this year having finished her uni degree. And Genevieve Chan, our partnership manager, is covering Kate’s parental leave. Bryce has been part of Team Squiz since the start as part of our advisory group.
What is the average age of your staff? Sheila
We’ve got those in their 40s, 30s, and 20s. But it’s safe to say by the end of most weeks we feel a lot older than we are…
How many people work to produce the daily emails and podcasts? Renee
We are light and lean. Each product takes the involvement of just one or two people to produce and distribute each day. Amazing, right?
How do you select your stories? Joanne
Claire, Bryce and Lara each feed into that process. We talk about the news all day and what it all means – it’s a passion of ours. Bryce is a journalist, so he’s super handy to have around. Claire and Lara are plain ol’ news junkies.
I love the tone of voice you use. How do you do it? Melissa
Aww, thanks Melissa. We want to make everything we do feel like you have a friend who knows stuff. But not that annoying friend that bangs on and on about how clever they are… So we try to be restrained, but entertaining.
Where do you source your info? Kate
We have quite a routine. All the major Australian, Kiwi, US, UK, Middle East and European news outlets are part of our daily news gathering effort. And what we find we cross-reference and fact check to ensure we’ve got things straight. It takes ages, but for people like us it’s a lot of fun
I have a theory that your straight-down-the-line news platform is going to be successful because I’m sick of seeing opinion dressed-up as news. Your thoughts? Peter
Yep. It feels like there’s more and more opinion dressed-up as news these days. Which was one of the reasons we started The Squiz with its opinion-free approach in the first place. As for us ultimately being successful – we’re working on it…
Can we see more of Tucker? Elise
He makes a semi-egular appearance on our Instagram, but his rates are very high…
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