Behind the curtain of a $1B newsletter business

Pete Boyle
12 min readApr 7, 2021

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I recently saw buzz around a newsletter business that closed $550MM in a year.

Here’s the tweet from Sam Parr that kicked things off.

There’s a newsletter business called The Agora. They own 20–40 diff newsletters. In a given week, they make $20-$50 million in revenue. I know because I’ve seen the financials. They’re VERY fascinating and incredibly polarizing. Anyone know more about them? DM me (or comment)

- Sam Parr ⚪️ (@theSamParr) March 3, 2020

The Agora.

If you’re not aware of the brand, here’s a quick overview.

The Agora is a behemoth in the newsletter and info publishing space.

They’re known to have some of the best direct response copywriters, strategists, and media buyers in the business.

And that reputation is very well founded.

Back when I was freelance copywriting I made an effort to work with some of The Agora companies.

The short version is, I didn’t get to work with any of them. However, I did speak to copywriters, editors, and strategists within their companies.

And I was blown away with the level of understanding these folk had about selling online.

Their reputation as the gold-standard in direct response marketing is, in my opinion, very well deserved.

Notice how I said I approached “ some of The Agora companies”?

That’s not a typo.

The Agora is not a newsletter business. They’re a collection of newsletter businesses (and more). All told, their collection pulls in over $1B per year.

Crazy, right?

Here’s how their company infrastructure breaks down and how they make their money.

A quick note on The Agora companies

I need you to do something for me in this micro-study.

Ignore the quality of the products The Agora promote.

I’ve never bought any of the products they’re selling, so can’t speak to their actual quality.

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