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New chapter for Steady founder Sebastian Esser

The journalist and entrepreneur founded Steady in 2016 and grew it into Europe's largest membership platform. Now he is stepping away from its daily business.

Sebastian Esser is set to leave Steady's day-to-day operations. He will remain a shareholder and continue supporting the Steady team as an advisor.

After founding Krautreporter – an online magazine funded exclusively by paying members – Esser launched Steady (Öffnet in neuem Fenster) in 2016 to enable other media makers to use the membership model for themselves.

Since then, Esser has supported numerous media outlets in building up sustainable financing through memberships. In doing so, he has significantly contributed to making Steady what it is today: Europe’s largest membership platform.

"After six years of growth and more than 20 million euros paid out to independent media makers, it is the right time for me to turn to the next thing," says Esser. "When we started Steady, the term ‘creator economy’ did not yet exist. I am proud of our team for making Steady the biggest membership platform in Europe."

"I am sure that the biggest successes are still ahead of us," says Esser. "And I am glad that with our CEO Dr Tina Dingel we have the right person at the helm to successfully lead Steady through the next phase of growth."

"Steady would not have been possible without Sebastian," says Dingel. "We are delighted that he will continue to support us with his expertise."

In the future, Esser will be available as an advisor to independent media makers on their path to independence.

He plans to share his knowledge about memberships in his new newsletter, Blaupause (Öffnet in neuem Fenster), which will be published in German and can be subscribed to free of charge.

👉 Subscribe to Blaupause for free (Öffnet in neuem Fenster)

Sebastian Esser will also host three upcoming workshops on memberships (all in German):

About Sebastian Esser

The trained journalist and entrepreneur lives in Berlin and is the founder of membership-funded magazine Krautreporter (Öffnet in neuem Fenster) and Steady (Öffnet in neuem Fenster), a membership platform for independent creators. Krautreporter was crowdfunded in 2014 and publishes a daily, big-picture feature on politics and society. The Krautreporter Cooperative stands for independent journalism that involves members in its research. Krautreporter now has more than 16,500 paying members.


About Steady

Steady enables content creators to go independent – through publishing tools, newsletters and memberships. More than 150,000 people support publications and podcasts on Steady with a monthly or annual contribution, including the editorial teams of Übermedien, gal-dem and the Quietus. The Berlin-based startup was founded in 2016 by Krautreporter creators Sebastian Esser and Philipp Schwörbel. In 2019, Steady won the European Digital Media Award in the Best Paid Content Strategy category, alongside the Guardian. In 2021, Steady distributed 20 million euros to more than 1,500 creators.

Steady press contact: Manuel Kronenberg