Becoming by Automatad, Inc.
Becoming Series – If They Can Do It, You Can Too
Being a publisher has never been harder. Both the users (time) and the buyers (money) are spending on the duopoly and other walled gardens. Even with the header bidding and adoption of video ads, most publishers find it difficult to move the needle.
As you all know, we’ve always wanted to educate publishers about the opportunities and what’s happening in the ad tech.
Now, we’re pleased to continue our offerings to you by starting a new series – Becoming.
So, What’s Becoming?
It’s a series where we’ll cover how top digital publishers reached where they are today. What steps did they take, and most importantly, how you can replicate it. You will find interesting ad revenue numbers and strategies implemented by the publisher.
Don’t worry, we will include both the ups and downs and try to cover the growing stage of a publisher so that you can relate more. Okay, enough talking.
Let’s Get into the stories!
The persistence and individuality of the publisher are inspiring. It’s not easy to sustain and grow your presence across the globe while battling against the downward sloping revenue graph. In fact, The Guardian’s survival was in question a few years back as the publisher was burning cash consecutively and on the verge of going bankrupt. But now, it’s in the path of breaking even by 2019.
Though they’re not a bootstrapped publisher and has been raising funds for years, we decided to cover their story because of two reasons.
– They were born and raised in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. It’s not easy to raise funds and continually build a community when the market is collapsing.
– The uphill battle faced by the publisher, especially against the likes of ESPN, NBC, etc. is dramatic. This means we all can bag a lot of lessons from it.
Everyone in the adtech knows the ft.com for its whooping readership and successful paid membership model. But there’s more than what meets the eye.
They pioneered the online news space and have initiated the paid subscription model. They took the necessary risks and of course, had their struggles during the early years.
It took 7 years for Financial Times to get into the black
In fact, they still do. Even last year, they only managed to get just £6.2m profit on revenue of £310.7m (Src).
When we hear Pitchfork, we often tend to see the grand events and impressive revenue numbers. As always, there’s more than what meets the eye.
Pitchfork was started by a high school kid (just after graduating), Ryan Schreiber with no prior experience in writing and online publishing.
This means you won’t see any staggering traffic or revenue in the beginning. The hockey stick graph of Pitchfork took time and a clean strategy to hit the apex.
The legendary publisher and media giant have seen it all – Men walking on Moon, Cap. E. J. Smith sinking with Titanic, the Civil Rights Movement, and more. Though the publisher began its run with a newspaper, it won over the digital-only publications by a landslide. The publisher’s traditional roots succored the digital spin-off and now, NYTimes.com is the most valuable part of the whole company.
Apparently, it’s hard to even imagine The New York Times without its online presence. Here’s what we found compelling while working on the piece – NYTimes.com will push you to take calculated risks – on both editorial and monetization fronts.
Without any further ado, let’s dive into the story of The New York Times….