52 minutes | Dec 12th 2019

How to launch a long-form journalism publication in an era of diminishing attention spans - with Noah Rosenberg (CEO at Narratively)

My guest today is Noah Rosenberg, the founder and CEO of Narratively. Narratively is a publication that I’ve both written for - and have been very very impressed by for some of the pioneering work they’ve done. Narratively very much defined a niche for themselves in pioneering long-form human interest journalism in an age of diminishing attention spans. They not only continued to bring out original long-form stories - but also developed a unique monetization model of a content studio that has helped them thrive in an age when many journalism outlets are facing existential challenges.

In this interview we dive into Noah’s journey from being a journalist to a journalism platform creator, talk about how he validated and launched Narratively, what drives audience growth for long-form articles, how Narratively’s unique monetization model has helped both keep it ad-free and allowed its writers to make good money. This interview presents lessons that apply for far beyond long-form journalism - and I’m excited to share this with you today.


  • Noah’s early career as a journalist – and how he was drawn to larger human interest stories & underreported themes during his work in Queens and in South Africa.
  • The sort of market research that Noah did to validate his idea of a human interest publication – and the response they got to Narratively on Kickstarter.
  • How Narratively transitioned from being a New York focused publication to being global.
  • How Narratively planned to use the $53k that it had raised in its Kickstarter campaign.
  • Why Narratively didn’t adopt the subscription model or an ad supported model.
  • How Narratively’s partnership with Warner Brothers materialized.
  • How Narratively thinks about the relationship between its branded content side and its editorial side.
  • How stories on Narratively.com get traffic.
  • Why Narratively had challenges raising funding.

Check out the full transcript and show notes here:


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