Axios is a newly-founded media company that offers alternative solutions for digital content. The company that will launch next week was founded by the co-founder of Politico, Jim VandeHei, and his colleague Rob Schwartz.

The founder, Jim VandeHei, announced last year that eventually subscriptions to his media startup will cost as much as $10,000, but initially at launch access will be free.

The new website states that Axios values short, specialized, high-quality news items that are easily shareable.

Advertising will be the main source of revenue as it launches, with eventually having a 50/50 divide between advertising and subscriptions in the future – a similar ratio VandeHei implemented at Politico, as he believes having this free dimension helps build a brand, and also help target specific audiences directly.

The media company, will provide news and analysis in sectors such as business and technology and be specifically designed to live on other platforms, such as Facebook and Snapchat.

In a recent interview with Digiday, VandeHei and his colleague Roy Schwartz, spoke about the new media company and some tricks and tools they will be using to make it a success.

Here are some of our highlights of the interview.

It sounds like you took a lot of cues from Facebook in designing Axios. Is that fair to say?
RS: Yes we learned a lot from Facebook. The experience of reading news on a print newspaper is much better than visiting that same newspaper’s website. On a front page of print, you can look at a lot of news quickly, and you can decide what you want to read more of, and so on. On a site, that’s harder to do. We wanted our site to present people with a way to get a lot of information, quickly.

You’ve mentioned Snapchat a couple of times. Why is Snapchat part of your mix?
JV: Over the last several months we’ve done an experiment partnership with NowThis, where we narrated the campaign and narrated the post-campaign politics and policy, and we learned a lot in that process. There’s a huge audience on Snapchat for that content.

And how are you going to monetize video?

JV: I think the easiest way right now to monetize video in the serious-news space is to have it sponsored or presented by someone, as opposed to long, tedious pre-roll. A lot of our stuff we’re pushing is all about shorter, smarter, something I have time to watch and can engage with.

For the full interview, click here.


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