DL Research Content

A conversation with Paige Aarhus, Director, DL News

A conversation with Paige Aarhus, Director, DL News
Credit: Darren Joseph

Why launch DL Research?

It stems from why we launched DL News, which is because we wanted to set the standard for crypto media coverage. That means a focus on original work and investigations, written by real journalists, with an approach that is neither sneering nor shilling.

We have not shied away or pulled punches, especially when it comes to powerful people and companies that prefer we not report on their activities. Our scoops, exclusives, and well-sourced DeFi and markets coverage have won accolades across the board. Our regulatory coverage is second-to-none.

DL News is also the only crypto media outlet ever to have won a “Best Trust Initiative” award from the World Association of News Publishers. In fact, we’re the only crypto publication ever to have won any kind of award from WAN-IFRA at all. The organisation is not pay-for-play.

The very strict editorial standards at DL News prevent me as director from interfering in editorial output or decision-making in any way. I don’t tell the newsroom what to write, ever. This is a feature, not a bug.

Since the news site launched in January 2023, however, we’ve received many queries from companies seeking in-depth coverage of their project or other issues that are close to their hearts — longer deep dives with more technical analysis, and promotional and sponsorship opportunities.

We’re a business, and we want to earn revenue. I cannot stress this enough: Real journalism costs money. We do not want to live in a world where this very vital function has been completely annihilated by bullshit, SEO-gaming, copy-pasting sites that are largely staffed by bots, or worse, where it has been outsourced to AI. In those scenarios, it’s impossible to undertake actual news gathering because there are no humans around to do it.

So we decided to launch DL Research as the commercial arm of DL News.

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With DL Research, clients get access to our high-value, high-quality audience, with a customised approach that focuses on the narratives and research topics they choose. We offer everything from primary research and onchain analysis to newsletter and event sponsorships and newsy articles. This is work undertaken by expert researchers and copywriters for real audiences.

How is DL Research different from its competitors, what’s the unique selling point?

It can be a huge challenge to convince crypto-native Degens and TradFi suits to work together, but we pulled it off at DL News. And we’re pulling it off now at DL Research. Our team hails from a variety of backgrounds, from financial journalists to developers to Telegram moderators, and their combined talents are one of our biggest USPs.

DL News was founded on the principle that crypto will be mainstream one day – that the majority of the population will use it, even if they don’t understand the tech behind it (kind of like email).

Our mission has always been to create content that is respected by the community, but understood by mainstream, non-crypto natives. We apply the same principles to our work at DL Research. We have the capacity and ability to dive waaaay down crypto rabbit holes, but we are also willing and able to deliver projects and promotion with a more mainstream appeal.

DL Research is young, but this also means we’re hungry and competitive – including on prices. Write to us to find out more!

How does DLR approach market research challenges in an industry where the availability of accurate data can be limited at best?

That’s the cool thing about this project, is having the ability to fill in the gaps ourselves. We are the sister company of DefiLlama, a well-known data analytics platform that is already doing amazing work crunching industry numbers, and their work has been very helpful to us from the beginning.

But there are still many areas where information is lacking, from a detailed breakdown of crypto user demographics, to views and perceptions of major, pressing issues in the industry. Certainly we are interested in the nominative values of industry TVL, but the sociological aspect of crypto and DeFi also fascinates our researchers.

We have the capacity to undertake research that sheds more light on the industry, as we demonstrated most recently with our monster report, The State of Digital Assets in Europe. This was a first run at understanding the nuances of the industry from a regional perspective. It sought to answer questions such as “Who are crypto users in Europe?” and “Are European investors really too risk averse to get seriously involved in the sector?”

We spoke with dozens of expert sources, some of whom are featured in the report itself. Our research also drew from hundreds of surveys, reports, and other primary research undertaken by governments and companies. Our analysts aggregated this data to develop a more comprehensive and holistic picture of the industry from a European perspective.

Our team was so pleased with the result that they convinced me to do this Q&A to promote it, so please, check it out: it’s authoritative, detailed, and best of all — it’s free.