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A new chapter for Lowpass

Here we go!

I’ve got some exciting news to share: I recently acquired the subscriber list for Protocol’s Entertainment newsletter, which I previously co-authored for more than two years. Now, I am using it as a foundation to officially launch Lowpass as an independent newsletter publication dedicated to covering the future of entertainment and the next big hardware platforms, including smart TVs, ambient computing and AR / VR.

Lowpass is a weekly newsletter with both a free and a $8 a month paid tier, and there’s also a website to aggregate everything I publish.

Since soft-launching Lowpass in January, I’ve written about Netflix gaming, the future of home audio and in-car VR, and broken news about Meta acquiring an optics startup, Roku expanding into home security and Samsung looking to work with competitors in the smart TV space. And somehow, I even managed to get onto Techmeme twice 😊

Here’s what you can expect from Lowpass going forward:

  • A paid tier that’s worth $8 a month. Paying subscribers will get the complete newsletter every Thursday, with scoops, news and analysis on the topics that matter to anyone working on or otherwise interested in the future of entertainment and technology. They will also have access to every article on the Lowpass.cc website, and will be invited to a subscriber-only Slack workspace for networking, live chats and more.

  • A robust free tier. I’m not a big fan of emails that contain nothing but paywalls, which is why free subscribers will find something useful in their inbox every Thursday. About twice a month, non-paying subscribers will get the entire newsletter. And on weeks with premium-only content, they will still get a list of curated links, and perhaps an extra data point or story here and there.

Who am I, and why am I doing this. My name is Janko Roettgers, and I’ve covered the intersection of tech and entertainment as a journalist for roughly two decades. I was among the first writers for Gigaom’s Newteevee blog in 2007, and later wrote for Gigaom proper, followed by multiple years at Variety, and most recently Protocol. During those years, I’ve written about and seen streaming evolve into a multi-billion-dollar industry, cord cutting become mainstream, and AR and VR emerge as exciting possibilities for the future of computing and entertainment alike.

But while those industries have flourished, media has struggled to keep up. I was on staff when Gigaom abruptly shut down in 2015, and had a bit of a deja vu moment when Protocol just as suddenly ceased publication late last year. Plenty of other outlets that used to cover this space have also thrown the towel, laid off great reporters, or turned into bland marketing blogs churning out rewritten press releases and affiliate link posts.

I believe there is another way. Streaming, AR, VR, the future of entertainment and the tech industry’s quest to find the next big platform succeeding the smart phone deserve serious coverage that goes beyond buzz words and meaningless specs. Reporting that goes deep on both the technology powering these industries, and the business decisions shaping their evolution.

I’m inviting you to join me. Reader-supported journalism offers a chance to fill some of the gaps left behind by the retreat of venture-backed media, and a newsletter allows me to speak directly to an audience that cares as deeply about these subjects as I do. The more of you who opt for the paid tier, the more time and resources I will have to make Lowpass the best newsletter for industry insiders and enthusiasts alike.

I hope that you will consider paying $8 a month (or $80 a year for people who can expense the subscription but don’t want to deal with the hassle of monthly reimbursements), become part of the family by joining the Lowpass Slack, and help to make sure that the future of tech and entertainment is getting the attention it deserves.

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