We are dedicated to building sustainable publishing companies that are indispensable to the communities they serve. The Lede platform is purpose-built for editorially independent publishers and journalist-led publishing startups who want to serve the needs of their communities, rather than investors and advertisers.
Communities are at the core of modern media businesses, so we built our platform with community-building and engagement at its core. Lede is the most approachable platform for journalists to launch new publications with multiple revenue stream options (subscriptions, memberships, shops, events, etc.), publish to multiple formats (web, newsletters, podcasts, etc.), and with best-practices for growing members and subscribers built in. Our publishing partners reap the benefits of shared technology and community, while the brand, design, content and audience remain entirely theirs.
Lede isn’t just another self-serve internet platform. We act as an incubator for the upstart journalist-led publishers on our platform by helping them build their own uniquely branded digital home, establish their editorial and revenue strategies and adopt best practices for community engagement without having to pay upfront for the design or cede editorial control to investors.
Publishers already using the Lede platform include Defector, which was formed by former Deadspin journalists; Hot Pod, a website and newsletter that delivers news, analysis and opinions on the audio industry; and the Colorado Sun, a journalist-owned news outlet covering politics, culture and everything in between in the Centennial State.
“Many of the other media platforms out there felt ephemeral and didn’t offer the customization tools and control that we needed to be successful. The folks at Lede not only offered us the digital tools and expertise we needed to build Defector on our own terms, but they immediately understood our vision and were willing to take a leap and support us.”— Tom Ley, Editor-in-Chief of Defector.
How We Got Here
The Lede platform was initially developed in 2020 by Alley Interactive, the go-to strategic partner and tool creator for some of the largest and most influential news organizations in the world. In July 2021, Alley launched Alley Group as a holding company to pursue new opportunities in the future of work, organizations, media and communications that lie beyond Alley Interactive’s original mission. Lede is part of Alley Group, and operates as a separate company.