With close to 600,000 subscribers now paying for one of its three membership tiers — benefits of which include access to a growing slate of feature-length films, podcasts and eventually kids’ programming, among other content — you could argue that the conservative media outlet The Daily Wire is close to outgrowing its name. Or, at least, that part of its name implying the firehose of information obtained from something like a newswire.
To be sure, a mix of quick-hit takes plus original reporting does still comprise the centerpiece of The Daily Wire’s operation. But starting with the rollout a few years ago of what’s proven to be a successful paywall, under co-CEO Jeremy Boreing, the company has also now matured to the point that its multifaceted commercial ambitions actually feel at least conceptually more aligned with a publisher like The New York Times than with the idea of a niche, narrowly targeted partisan site.
Broadly speaking, that means the Nashville-based company has built up a robust subscription business, plus a healthy (but not over-reliance) on advertising revenue. Also part of the mix? Subscriber-exclusive and news-adjacent benefits that, over time, serve to wed The Daily Wire and its paying customers into an incrementally tighter relationship. That’s the plan, at any rate.
Along the same lines, Boreing takes a dim view of the Blanche DuBois-style, hat-in-hand approach that he says is pervasive among his peers in conservative media. As The Daily Wire’s chief executive sees it, to rely too much on the kindness of strangers — more specifically, on advertisers and nonprofit donors — is to do so at your peril.
“We want to be a media company in the traditional sense,” Boreing stressed to me in an interview. Not merely a news website company, even though that’s the thing for which The Daily Wire is still most known and which has turned it into one of the top publishers on Facebook. The company’s ambitions, however, are much more expansive.
While other conservative news and media companies are known largely for sites built around voice-y takes on the day’s news, perhaps with some commentary video for the audience to consume, The Daily Wire has also started debuting original movies. It’s even now selling direct-to-consumer goods, like razors and razor kits — which, at first, might seem to make as much sense as The Washington Post running a TikTok account or The New York Times buying a viral word game.
What Boreing and the company are attempting to do is bring a viable commercial model to a profession that’s also grounded in a modern conservative worldview. The aforementioned razors are one example. When Harry’s Razors pulled its ads from The Daily Wire over the site’s content and political bent, Boreing essentially said — fine, we’ll start selling an alternative product.
Thus was born Jeremy’s Razors, which in its first 10 days following the launch on March 22 had already sold 50,000 razor kits and subscriptions, according to Boreing. Moreover, only 30 percent of the razor subscriptions were to existing Daily Wire subscribers.
“Quite often, conservatives take a very gloomy view of the future,” Boreing told me. “We’ve decided at The Daily Wire that it’s not enough to lament our losses in the culture, in the economy. We have to propose alternatives. And so that’s what we do. We believe we can be a part of building the future, not just grieving the past.
“And I believe that resonates not only with a broad conservative audience who’s tired of losing and feeling like all that’s left to us is to continue losing — but to a young conservative audience, in particular. They weren’t here for the, quote unquote, good old days. And they haven’t given up. They still have to live in this world and they want to be a part of building whatever it’s going to be.”
The Daily Wire, by the numbers
As for what that company, which Boreing co-founded with co-CEO Caleb Robinson and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, looks like at the moment:
- The Daily Wire now has a run rate approaching $150 million, annualized.
- It’s closing in on 200 full-time employees
- The company also produces 250 pieces of content (including several dozen written articles) a day. And now, for the first time, The Daily Wire has disclosed the size of its paid subscriber base (the 600,000 figure above), which generates money that the company is increasingly investing into content that has nothing to do with news.
In addition to its slate of podcasts (Shapiro’s is regularly one of the Top 10 on Spotify, as well as Apple’s platform), The Daily Wire has a book publishing imprint. It also releases original movies, like its first title Run Hide Fight — which The Hollywood Reporter described as “slick and compulsively watchable.”
A Gina Carano-led western from The Daily Wire, called Terror on the Prairie, is coming this summer.
“The films are not polemical,” Boreing says. “What’s important in our entertainment business is that we make entertainment first. What we say internally is we want to make content that people want to see. Not content that they want to want to see.”
Fighting “woke media companies”
Along these same lines, Boreing in recent days announced that The Daily Wire will likewise “invest a minimum of $100 million over the next three years into a line of live-action and animated children’s entertainment on its streaming platform.” Americans, his announcement continued, are “tired of giving their money to woke media companies.” That’s a clear shot at Disney, the leadership of which has not only decided to lobby against Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The animation and kids’ content giant also intends to produce content with “many, many” LGBTQIA characters, according to Disney’s General Entertainment content president Karey Burke.
Boreing, meanwhile, said The Daily Wire had already been planning to go down this road. What’s happening with Disney didn’t accelerate his company’s plans, only the announcement of them.
“We believe that the left has essentially infiltrated and taken over every major institution in American public life, including most corporations,” he told me. “And we believe that they take for granted 50% of Americans, because they know that no matter how much they insult us publicly while they virtue signal before the mob, we’re still going to give them our money because we need their goods and services.”
Boreing continued: “With our kids content, we’re not going to challenge our audience at all. We’re going to be a a very safe place. Where a parent, a conservative parent, can feel very confident sitting their child down in front of our kids entertainment offering without having to worry they need to screen the content first.”
Two Daily Wire kids shows already in the works
The company has already green-lit two kids’ shows so far and is six scripts deep into one of them. The other important thing to note here: Boreing acknowledges that entertainment content is hard, as everyone from Netflix to the smallest, most obscure streamer can attest. Given the big upfront spend that’s required, as well as the Roulette wheel nature of whether something turns into a hit or not.
The Daily Wire does have at least one thing going for it already, though. The company clearly knows how to not only give its audience a product that they want, but to convince a critical mass of that audience to pay for it. “Conservatives have become very good at profiting off of failure,” Boreing said. “But with a for-profit company, you only win by winning. The Daily Wire only makes money when we win.”