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Partnerships, Acquisitions, and New Focuses for Multiplatform Publishers

Condé Nast acquires data solutions firm; Multiplatform publishers partner with Spotify for podcasts; Bleacher Report looks at commerce and licensing

Multiplatform publishers continue to reinvent and reenvision their organizations. Today we’re visiting stories from such publishers who are focusing on changes to usher in new opportunities.

We begin with Condé Nast and its most recent acquisition. MediaPost reports, “Condé Nast has acquired the team at Lighthouse Datalab, a data-solutions firm. Financial terms were not disclosed.”

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“The founder of Lighthouse Datalab, Sriram Subramanian, will become head of data science at Condé Nast and will lead the company’s data-science efforts.”

The article continues with insight on the goal of this acquisition. “The acquisition of the Lighthouse Datalab team “underscores Condé Nast’s commitment to growing our data-science capabilities, which is providing tremendous value to our clients through both audience targeting and demonstrating the superior ROI marketers can achieve …,” stated Karthic Bala, head of data strategy for Condé Nast.”

For our next story we look at multiplatform publishers who are turning to Spotify for offering content. MediaPost reports, “Paid music-streaming service Spotify is partnering with eight publishers to produce audio programming and visuals for a new format called Spotlight. The idea is to supplement the listening experience of audio shows like podcasts, audiobooks and news with photos, video and text.”

“The publishers include BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, The Minefield Girl, Refinery29 and Uninterrupted.”

This programming is allowing Spotify to diversify offerings and focus on its future. “The new programming can help Spotify tap into the $18 billion spent on radio advertising each year, Bloomberg reports, and boost revenue ahead of the company’s IPO launch.”

Our final story of the day visits the multiplatform publishers at Bleacher Report and looks at the organization’s foray into commerce and licensing. Digiday reports, “Bleacher Report is hiring dedicated teams for commerce and content licensing, having already brought on an executive to head up the commerce business, said Howard Mittman, CRO and CMO of Bleacher Report.”

The article continues with an example of why Bleacher Report is turning towards commerce. “Last year, Bleacher Report ran a small test where it created a line of clothing based on the “Hoodie Melo” meme (featuring NBA player Carmelo Anthony practicing in a hoodie). The hoodies, at $60 each, sold out in just a few hours, Mittman said. Similarly, Bleacher Report hired an artist last year to reimagine NBA team logos in honor of Black History Month, with franchise names such as the Bed Stuy Rockers and the Chicago Defenders. It’s easy to imagine apparel and other products carrying those logos, Mittman said.”

The article also discussed the company’s take on licensing content. “Two years ago, Bleacher Report formed its B/R Entertainment division to create video shows for Bleacher Report’s own platforms and other distributors such as Facebook Watch. Led by Neil Punsalan, it’s focused on projects such as “Game of Zones,” “Gridiron Heights” and “No Script,” which Bleacher Report reportedly licensed to Facebook for “millions” of dollars. Bleacher Report has five such entertainment projects that it plans to focus on this year, said Brown.”

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