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IAC Joins Ranks of Publisher Networks With New Venture

Publisher networks are a trend for digital magazines, and IAC is a major new member of the club; plus, two big hirings for publishing executives

For some companies with multiple properties, publisher networks just make sense as a way to centralize operations and standardize content across all platforms for the purposes of more attractive options for digital advertisers.

Now, of course, we realize that not all digital magazines are in this position, but publisher networks are an industry-wide phenomenon that bears watching in the context of potential mergers & acquisitions, niche strategy, the future of web advertising, and the direction of multiplatform strategy.

MediaPost’s Publishers Daily covers the IAC’s move into publisher networks, as well as some personnel moves and the progress of Facebook Instant Articles.

IAC Is Latest Player in Publisher Networks

IAC — owner of The Daily Beast, About.com, Dictionary.com, and others — has announced the formation of IAC Publishing, an umbrella company to be led by former Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds, MediaPost’s Publishers Daily reports. 

“The new organization is intended to help raise the profile of IAC properties and make it easier for advertisers to buy inventory across the network. It will also make it easier for them to benefit from IAC’s investments in data infrastructure as well as new advertising technology and products. IAC Publishing will also include a new ‘labs’ division focused on launching digital publishing sites in new verticals,” Erik Sass writes.

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“The company hopes to capitalize on the momentum of its existing ad sales efforts. According to IAC, premium ad sales at About.com have increased by 30% year-over-year, while The Daily Beast’s in-house creative outfit, BrandBeast, is crafting custom content campaigns for ad clients including Land Rover, Fitbit, National Geographic Channel and Delta Air Lines.”

Digital Publishing Companies Bauer and Refinery29 Fill Crucial Positions

Bauer Xcel Media has tapped Allison Mezzafonte as a senior vice president of operations responsible for a redoubled digital effort, MediaPost’s Publishers Daily reports.

“To build a digital division within a magazine publisher requires an adaptive nature and a willingness to take a user-first approach, making thoughtful decisions that are supported equally by a combination of data and editorial judgment,” said Mezzafonte, who believes Bauer Xcel Media “operates nimbly, embracing new media channels while scaling established ones.”

In addition, Refinery29 has hired Amy Emmerich as chief content officer in charge of 150 staffers implementing content strategy and distribution, MediaPost’s Publishers Daily reports.

Facebook Instant Articles Launches in Asia

Fifty Asian publishers have signed on for Facebook Instant Articles now that the beta version has been released, months after the U.S. debut and days after Latin America, MediaPost’s Publishers Daily reports.

“Instant Articles has been designed with extensive feedback from publishers,” Facebook Director of Global Media Partnerships Andy Mitchell, said, touting the ability of Asian publishers to offer “fast, interactive articles to their readers in the Facebook app.”

“The media format also introduces a suite of interactive features. Publishers can add features, such as zooming into high-resolution photos with a tilt of a phone, auto-play videos on the News Feed, interactive maps, audio captions and the ability to like and comment on individual parts of an article in-line,” Sara Guaglione writes.

Established publisher networks, what advice do you have for aspiring publisher networks? Share your tips in the comments!

To read more about publisher networks in the news, visit MediaPost’s Publishers Daily.

 

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