Gumroad vs Substack: Difference and Comparison

Direct-to-consumer has been prevailing marketing policies around the globe lately. Moreover, this creates loyalty and a healthy relationship between the consumers and the sellers.

The ideology of no intermediate certainly has enhanced the growth of any e-commerce platform. In such circumstances, Gumroad and Substack are a variety of online platforms that provide easier selling methods. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Gumroad is an e-commerce platform that enables creators to sell digital and physical products directly to customers. In contrast, Substack is a newsletter publishing platform for writers to build and monetize their email subscribers.
  2. Gumroad charges a transaction fee and a small monthly fee, while Substack takes a percentage of revenue generated through subscriptions.
  3. Gumroad focuses on selling products, while Substack is centered around building a community of readers through newsletters.

Gumroad vs Substack

The difference between Gumroad and Substack is that Gumroad is a provider of multifarious services to digital creators. Meanwhile, Substack is a tool that entirely helps you to create a subscription to the newsletter. Besides, they serve similar services, as both enable the digital selling process from the seller to the client, with no intermediate.

Gumroad vs Substack

Gumroad is an online platform that promotes cooperation in selling products from sellers to consumers directly without any interference from an intermediate. The company Gumroad was founded by Sahil Lavingia in 2011 in a way to make the selling process easier and more convenient.

Through this, many professionals, such as software developers, artists, authors, and many more, have shown their engagement by selling digital content directly to clients.

On the other hand, Substack is an online platform offering help by publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters.

It was created by Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie, and Jairaj Sethi in 2017 to assist newsletter subscriptions. Professionals like journalists and prodigious media sites have been making use of this substack as it pitches in well for newsletter subscriptions. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGumroad Substack 
MeaningGumroad is an online selling platform where creators sell products directly to consumers. It is also known as D2C businesses.Substack is an online platform that highly focuses on subscription newspapers by publishing, making payments, setting analytics, and designing infrastructure. 
History Sahil Lavingia and Sachin Khanna are the founders of Gumroad. He commenced e-commerce in 2011. Chris Best, Hamish McKenzie and Jairaj Sethi created Substack in 2017 especially to connect readers with the writers. 
Industry Gumroad is a decentralised organisation that focuses on e-commerce, the digital industry and the self-publishing of the creator’s products directly to the consumers.Substack is a subscription platform where you are asked to pay a certain amount at regular intervals to access the purchased product. 
Features Gumroad plays as an independent, where you can establish an account on Gumroad, create targeted audiences and start selling your products digitally or physically. Substack is an open subscription platform. Even a basic writer with zero experience can enrol on this platform. Substack creates traffic to your product as it appears on email. 
Mechanism Gumroad works only if you pay a certain amount through PayPal or a credit card statement to that product you are looking for, such as e-books, files and music etc, to the customers. On the other hand, you can also purchase a product that can be delivered to your doorstep. Substack is an online platform email newsletter field, where writers can publish their own newspaper either by asking for payroll or giveaway. 

What is Gumroad?

Gumroad is also such an online platform that enables the sale of products owned by creators to the consumers with the absence of any third party. It was founded in 2011 by Sahil Lavingla to make the selling method as easy as social sharing.

Also Read:  D&D vs Pathfinder: Difference and Comparison

The headquarters of Gumroad is situated in San Francisco, California, US. It builds the relationship between a seller and buyer smoothie, as it directly makes contact. Many professionals, like authors, comedians, filmmakers, musicians, and software developers, are claimed to be active on Gumroad.

Usually, digital contents are the only products that make progress, like albums, comics, ebooks, films, games, music, or tutorials. It also offers tools to process payment, host and deliver a file, market and communicate with clients. 

It works on statistics, auditing the most spent product by the creators to construct the site in such a way that it attracts potential buyers. Lately, the option to subscribe has been introduced, offering creators the tools to create paid communities, courses, software, newsletter, and so on. 

What is Substack?

It has been over four years, and Substack still hits the pinnacle of success for its support for subscription letters. This online platform renders publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure, following subscription newsletters.

Moreover, the substack is great in hand for journalists, reporters, high-handed writers, politicians, and many more. Substack is considered a more stable means to maintain readers through a direct connection with writers.

Furthermore, it has garnered enough attention among the community of journalists. Over and above, Substack has been acclaimed for publishing original reports, which include personal writing, opinion pieces, research, and analysis of experts. 

That said, it is also a website with lightweight content and free of malicious activities, such as harassment, spam, threats, pornography, and so on. And lately, the founder has added the option of podcasting to discuss threads among newsletter subscribers. 

Also Read:  Upwork, Freelancer vs Fiverr: Difference and Comparison

It is free. However, a certain piece requires payment to read. Over 500,000 subscribers are active on substack websites. On the other hand, it also enables writers to get access to monetize by sending readers their write-ups.

Main Differences Between Gumroad and Substack

  1. Gumroad is an online selling platform, whereas Substack is an online open subscription platform.
  2. Gumroad sells products of creators to customers directly, in an electronic way, such as ebooks, files, documents and music. Moreover touts the product in a physical way. On the other hand, Substack is an online portal where you can subscribe to write a newspaper or do it for free also. 
  3. Gumroad’s products can be accessible only if you pay a certain amount for the product. Furthermore, Gumroad is an e-commerce industry. Whereas Substack is a subscription platform, the writer has to pay a recurring amount to publish their own newspaper. 
  4. Gumroad was founded in 2011 as an online-selling product without any intermediaries. Albeit, Substack was launched in 2017 for subscription newsletters. 
  5. Gumroad is an online selling and shopping platform where customers can opt for electronic and physical products. Substack plays as an online subscription newsletter by publishing, designing the creator’s writing, setting analytics to create insights and receiving payments for the subscription. 

Last Updated : 08 July, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

23 thoughts on “Gumroad vs Substack: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison between Gumroad and Substack highlights the diverse opportunities they offer for creators and consumers. It’s remarkable how these platforms cater to different needs within the digital economy.

    • The versatility of these platforms reflects the evolving landscape of digital sales and content production, demonstrating their relevance in modern creator ecosystems.

    • Absolutely, the adaptability of Gumroad and Substack to various creator requirements is indicative of their commitment to supporting a wide range of digital content creators.

  2. These platforms provide an excellent opportunity for creators to connect directly with their audience and manage their own sales. Gumroad and Substack have been pioneers in this area, and it’s fascinating to see how they have transformed the e-commerce and newsletter industries.

    • The rise of platforms like Gumroad and Substack is indicative of the democratization of sales and publishing. It’s a win for creators and consumers alike.

  3. The information about Gumroad and Substack’s origins and purpose is enlightening. These platforms have become essential tools for creators across different industries.

    • Absolutely, the background and evolution of these platforms highlight their significance in the digital marketplace and content creation landscape.

  4. Gumroad’s and Substack’s commitment to empowering creators is evident in their platforms’ capabilities and features. They contribute significantly to the evolution of independent content creation and distribution.

    • Absolutely, the advancements facilitated by Gumroad and Substack are reshaping the creator and consumer landscape in profound and empowering ways.

    • The platforms’ emphasis on direct relationships between creators and consumers signifies a significant shift in the digital economy, fostering greater autonomy and opportunities for creators.

  5. The comparison table provides a clear understanding of the differences between Gumroad and Substack. Both platforms offer distinct features that can benefit different types of creators.

    • Absolutely, the history, industry focus, and mechanisms of both platforms illustrate their unique value propositions and target audiences.

  6. Gumroad and Substack offer unique solutions for different types of creators. As a writer, Substack’s focus on newsletters is especially appealing, while Gumroad’s broader approach is great for creators of various digital and physical products.

    • It’s interesting to see how both platforms cater to specific needs of creators, and how they manage to make the selling and publishing process more accessible and efficient.

  7. The significance of Gumroad and Substack as tools for creators to engage directly with their consumers cannot be overstated. Their contributions to the digital economy are substantial and transformative.

    • Absolutely, the impact of these platforms extends far beyond mere transactions, shaping the dynamics of online commerce in profound ways.

  8. It’s impressive to see how these platforms are empowering creators to take control of their sales and subscriptions. Both Gumroad and Substack have been crucial to the growth of the direct-to-consumer model.

    • Definitely, the empowerment of creators and the removal of intermediaries has transformed the landscape of digital sales and publishing.

    • The impact of Gumroad and Substack on the digital economy and creator communities cannot be overstated. Their contributions have been invaluable.

  9. The detailed explanation of Gumroad and Substack’s functions and mechanisms underscores their value in streamlining the selling and publishing processes for creators.

    • Indeed, the clarity and accessibility provided by these platforms have redefined the ways in which creators can engage with their audience and manage their products.

  10. The direct-to-consumer model facilitated by Gumroad and Substack underscores the changing dynamics of online sales and publishing, reflecting a shift towards more independent and direct relationships between creators and consumers.


Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!