David Plotz is a digital media veteran, dating back to when he joined Slate in 1996. Now the CEO of Atlas Obscura, Plotz is focused on building a differentiated media brand around the idea that everyone’s an explorer of the world. That’s harder than ever in the world of platforms, Plotz explained on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast. “When Facebook is the primary content delivery system, are you going to be able to thrive as a distinctive publisher,” he said.
Jon Steinberg is no stranger to advertising, having built BuzzFeed’s ad business and operating as the CEO of Daily Mail in North America. But for his new venture, video streaming service Cheddar, Steinberg is not relying on advertising for the business model. Instead, he’s betting on licensing fees from over-the-top platforms.
Slate’s been around for 20 years. With 115 people, it is a midsize publisher in a digital media world where scale is often emphasized. Slate president Keith Hernandez believes publishers that don’t have limitless resources need to make deliberate choices, whether that’s what platform to bet on or how to carve out a niche with branded content.
Bleacher Report is fully embracing the content-everywhere approach to platforms, going all-in on Facebook Instant Articles, native video on Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat and more. In fact, the sports publisher is identifying “managing editors” for each platform to craft content that fits best there, according to Rory Brown, Bleacher Report’s president. Those publisher dragging their feet on a distributed strategy will end up being behind the game when brands are demanding ways to integrate with content distributed on platforms — something that’s coming, he said.