Nice News

Sean Devlin, Founder

Los Angeles
The Nice News team. Sean headshot.
News with a positive twist

Finding positive news wasn’t easy during the peak of the pandemic. While the latest COVID-19 developments and economic fallout from the virus were important to keep tabs on, the dreariness of the news cycle was seemingly endless and often overwhelming.

“I was checking the New York Times app every day to look at the number of COVID cases and got to the point where I realized I was training myself to seek out the negative,” says Sean Devlin. “It wasn't healthy and I eventually got to the point where I stopped checking the news altogether.”

He spoke with friends who felt the same way and had also begun to disengage from the news cycle. So Devlin, who had spent years working in web and email publishing, put on his content strategist hat and began to devise an alternative news source — one that could inform and uplift readers.

In 2022, Devlin launched Nice News, a five-minute daily email digest that features a roundup of positive news stories on various topics, including science, health, environment, culture, and human interest.

“We didn’t want Nice News to replace major news outlets, which do such important work,” says Devlin. “Instead, we wanted to build a platform that could bring awareness to important stories that are often overshadowed by negative headlines.”

In just two years it’s gained a following of over 750,000 subscribers. In addition to producing the daily newsletter, the editorial team also publishes articles to the Nice News website, highlighting uplifting stories that often don’t get the attention they deserve.

“We hear from our subscribers that they read Nice News every day because they don’t see our stories on other news outlets,” says Devlin. “Bringing uplifting stories to the forefront and connecting with our audience on a personal level has allowed us to resonate with our readers and build such a loyal subscriber base.”

The Nice News team hard at work.
Accessible for all

Nice News gives people a healthy alternative to an often negative 24/7 news cycle, so Devlin didn’t feel it was right to put the content behind a paywall. Instead, Nice News supports its web content with ads, while relying on sponsorships for its email content. This enables the publication to be multi-platform.

“Monetizing our site with Google has been exceptionally important for our business,” says Devlin. “It enables us to survive and grow.”

“It's been really helpful to have Google streamline our approach to web monetization and be able to use web as a channel to engage with our audience,” he explains. “It’s allowed us to expand the types of content we produce and makes it easy for us to invest in more content production.”

The Nice News team was also able to expand in part due to the revenue brought in from programmatic advertising. The team currently includes Natalie as Managing Editor, Ally as an Associate Editor, Rebecca as a Staff Writer, and Kim as a Campaign Coordinator. Additionally, four curators help Sean and his team source content on a daily basis across 100+ outlets.

“Monetizing our site with Google has been exceptionally important for our business. It enables us to survive and grow.”
News, but only the good stuff

Looking ahead, Devlin and his team want to build on their momentum and continue filling this key gap in the news landscape while scaling their number of subscribers.

With a presidential election on the horizon, it’s likely the breakneck pace of the news cycle will only intensify. But Devlin hopes his publication can be there to add a bit of optimism during tense times.

“The news cycles dictate how we feel and engage in the world, so turning people’s attention to these overlooked positive stories really makes a difference,” he says. “We want to show readers that there are stories out there that are both inspiring and relevant.”

“The heart of our mission is simple: We want to allow our readers to see the world through an optimistic lens,” Devlin says. “We feel that framing our mindsets toward optimism can have a real impact on how we engage with the world.”

About the Publisher

Sean Devlin is the founder and GM of Nice News, a positive news platform and morning email digest. Prior to Nice News, he was part of the founding team at Optimism, helping launch 10 publications, including The Discoverer, Interesting Facts, and Inspiring Quotes, and scaling them to millions of daily readers. Sean has a passion for creating things that bring more positivity into the world. He hopes that through the stories featured in Nice News, readers can view the world through a more optimistic lens.
Sean Devlin headshot.