When he launched digital video company Cheddar last year, former BuzzFeed executive Jon Steinberg said he wasn’t interested in advertising. He saw Google and Facebook running away with the market, and instead would focus Cheddar on nabbing carriage fees from new digital video aggregators like Sling and Pluto. That didn’t work out, Steinberg said on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast.
The Outline was founded by Josh Topolsky to be a reaction to the sameness of digital media on the on hunt for scale. Instead, the publication is taking its cue more from magazines like The New Yorker in attempting to create a culturally resonant brand but with its roots in digital media. Topolsky believes that while packaging is important, particularly in developing new storytelling techniques native to digital media, the true test of publications remains in cultivating a distinctive voice that means something to a particular audience.
Barstool Sports, to put it mildly, is not for everyone. It’s content veers decidedly in the frat-house direction, features a section devoted to scantily clad girls, venerates all things Boston and holds that anything and everything can be a source of amusement. But it is also a media brand with something more valuable than ever: loyalty. CEO Erika Nardini joined the Digiday Podcast to explain why the company’s close ties to its users allows it to have a diverse business model that relies on advertising for just half its revenue. "Advertising will be about 50 percent of our revenue, maybe less. It’s a great thing," she said.
If the first month of 2017 is any indication, all eyes will be on Snap Inc. to prove that it’s worth the hype.