Make Money

How Does Morning Brew Make Money

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 7 minute read

Need to stay abreast of business and financial news but don’t have time to read all of today’s Wall Street Journal?

In other words, you have support. More than a million people who listen to Morning Brew share the view that business news should be entertaining rather than confusing. Instead of the usual stuffy, too professional tone, Morning Brew injects the news with a young air of confidence and a healthy helping of comedy.

If you like your daily dose of financial news to be accompanied by some puns, puzzles, and brainteasers, then Morning Brew could be just the thing for you.

Morning Brew’s Backstory

In general, interesting enterprises have interesting beginnings. The morning coffee is no different.

Alex Lieberman, a business major at the University of Michigan in 2014, noticed a trend among his peers: everyone claimed to read The Wall Street Journal every day in order to seem knowledgeable, even if they didn’t. They didn’t read it all the way through; instead, they only gave it a cursory skim and a few minutes of their time. When students tried to read the full newspaper over a rushed breakfast in the dining hall, they frequently failed to notice important details.

For kicks, Lieberman started a project he named The Market Corner, an account of the day’s business news delivered with the snarky tone of a classic campus newspaper. Austin Rief, one of the earliest subscribers, contacted Lieberman to see if he needed any assistance. 

Before Lieberman’s graduation in 2015, the two collaborated to relaunch their little newsletter as Morning Brew. While working full-time at Morgan Stanley, Lieberman kept up his Morning Brew side project with Rief even after he graduated.

Lieberman was surprised by the rapid increase in readership and the subsequent inquiries from potential advertisers. When Rief completed his undergraduate studies in 2017, he dived headfirst into Morning Brew, while Lieberman had already left Morgan Stanley by 2016. The pair successfully secured $750,000 in startup finance before the year’s conclusion. The majority of money came from close personal and family ties, demonstrating the value of those networks as a source of capital for your startup.

There were 125,000 active users of Morning Brew as of January 2018. In November of 2018, both co-founders were recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media. In 2020, Morning Brew anticipates a subscription base of over 2 million and revenues of over $20 million.

What Does Morning Brew Provide?

It’s difficult to find fault with Morning Brew’s brevity and humor. My first copy of Morning Brew had a quiz, followed by brief news recaps with intriguing headlines like “Disney Shoots First, Asks Questions Vader,” which provided a synopsis of Disney’s risky new Galaxy’s Edge Star Wars theme park. The fact that there is no subscription fee is an added bonus.

Everyday Newsletter

On Monday through Saturday, subscribers will get a new issue of the Morning Brew newsletter. The article begins off with a fun fact or piece of trivia to establish the tone and remind the reader that they are not reading the business section of their grandfather’s newspaper. There may then be a short quiz or puzzle after that.

Following this, it provides six pre-market numbers and the daily price trend for each to set the scene:

  • S&P 500
  • Dow-Jones Industrial Average
  • Nasdaq
  • 10-Year Treasury Yield
  • Price of gold
  • Price of oil

After a brief introduction outlining the current market climate, Morning Brew dives right into the digestible business news pieces that make up the bulk of the email. For instance, in only eight snappy phrases, “iTunes Is Going to the Operating System in the Sky” explained Apple’s intentions to retire iTunes.

During Monday’s Morning Brew, we dissect the week’s expected economic events. It includes things like Federal Reserve meetings, big profit announcements, and important political events.

In addition, there are wacky tests with names like “Quizimodo,” which has an illustration of the Hunchback of Notre Dame from Disney’s version of the story. The final segment of Morning Brew is a brief “Breakroom” recap of the day’s sports news and other important events. Every week on Fridays, we provide a new, open-ended puzzle for you to solve.

The daily email is a collection of interesting and informative business and financial headlines that are easy to skim. It doesn’t focus on any particular sector but rather attempts to keep readers abreast of macroeconomic and financial developments.


Advertisements support Morning Brew. The variety of marketers is remarkable; it includes well-known brands like Fidelity Investments, Discover Card, and even Duke University.

If you’re worried about being inundated with adverts, be assured that Morning Brew normally only has one or two advertising sponsors every newsletter. Two or three mentions of the advertiser are made throughout the email, including a logo and a brief description towards the beginning and one or two Sponsored sections scattered throughout. Because Morning Brew composes the ad content on the sponsor’s behalf, the promotion reads like it was written just for the newsletter.

Additionally, Morning Brew typically contains references to a non-sponsor affiliate in the Breakroom section at the bottom of the message. In the interest of full disclosure, they label all affiliate links as such.

Reward System

Nearly half of Morning Brew’s new customers come from recommendations from existing customers and other satisfied customers. A rewards program is a key driver of this positive word-of-mouth. With each new subscription referred by a reader, the referring reader receives a greater and greater number of freebies.

The first of them is a special Sunday newsletter called “Light Roast,” which is sent out solely to people who have recommended three or more friends to the newsletter. This deluxe Sunday supplement recaps the week’s most intriguing developments not previously covered and previews the coming week with unique information and analysis. Besides cash, we also have cool gear like mugs, a phone wallet, and a crewneck sweater.

However, even the most ingenious referral schemes would fail if Morning Brew consistently failed to wow its readers. In the end, readers spread the word about the newsletter because they find it to be an interesting and informative resource for young people in the areas of personal finance and news.

Niche Newsletters

Morning Brew now has topic-specific newsletters in addition to its daily general-interest email. There are now three available packages: the Retail Brew, the Marketing Brew, and the Emerging Tech Brew.

These are sent out three times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. They are a great resource for professionals in specialized fields to learn more about their field of interest.


Morning Brew, in addition to its email, now has a podcast that debuted in 2019.
Every other week on Tuesday and Thursday, The Brew drops new episodes of its Business Casual podcast. The 30- to 40-minute episodes often include an expert speaker discussing a variety of issues, such as “How Much Money Does It Take to Have a Kid? post “Are Economic Downturns Good for New Businesses? ”.

The same breezy, conversational tone used in the Brew newsletter is applied to these weighty business and financial issues.

Boost Your Career and Your Money

As the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” Our capacity to filter out irrelevant information in order to focus on what really matters will determine how far you go in today’s information-heavy world. Take a look at what you may learn by reading Morning Brew.

How Morning Brew Can Help Your Career

Being more knowledgeable than one’s peers and rivals is an advantage. By keeping abreast of developments in your field, you’ll be better prepared to formulate growth strategies, test out novel marketing approaches, and cash in on emerging trends that your competitors may be slow to notice. Who wouldn’t want to be the one with the most knowledge and insight?

Still, few of us can afford to devote an hour each morning to reading The Wall Street Journal from cover to cover. You may use Morning Brew to quickly scan the day’s top business and financial headlines, and then dive further into those that pique your interest.

How Coffee in the Morning Improves Your Personal Finances

In addition to helping you advance in your job, understanding the forces that move financial markets will only assist you as an investor. Even patient investors who don’t trade based on the direction of the wind like knowing who’s in control of the fan.

This information can help you choose whether to put more money into blue chip companies this month and less into developing markets, or the other way around.

If you invest in the stock market on a more granular level, Morning Brew can help you maintain tabs on the firms that are generating headlines. The housing market news that affects your neighborhood might also have an effect on you personally if you own a property or invest in real estate there.

Bottom Line

According to Lieberman and Rief, their target audience is twenty-somethings with a college degree who work in the business or financial sectors. They have a six-figure income, a comfortable apartment in a major coastal city, and an intuitive understanding of modern technology.

Their ideal reader is interested and self-driven. They are bright, accomplished, and hungry for expansion on all fronts (professional, intellectual, and, of course, financial).

Morning Brew is perfect for the time-crunched professional who still wants to keep up with the latest business and financial news.

And you don’t have to be a millennial to enjoy the humorous tone of Morning Brew. When compared to the sawdust-dry business stories presented by yawn-inducing pundits, readers of all ages much prefer concise, oftentimes amusing news summaries.

The fact that it’s free is a nice bonus. Subscribe to Morning Brew if you like succinct, wide-ranging financial discussion with a dash of humor.

Curated posts

Someone from San Francisco, CA just viewed Best Online Colleges for Electrical Engineering