The CEO and co-founder of Evolve Media – parent company of Gorilla Nation in Australia – has warned traditional magazine publishers attempting to transition into digital that they may as well pack it in and give private equity their money back.
Speaking exclusively with B&T while in Australia, Aaron Broder, was not all doom and gloom, however, arguing we were in the midst of “an extraordinary opportunity for publishers”.
Broder said that agency trading desks were supplying an unexpected boon for publishers.
He argued that it was a growing maturity within the digital media buying space that was affording the opportunity for display advertising to experience something of a renaissance on specialist content sites.
“In this publishing sandbox . . . agencies are now a lot clearer when they need to use publishers,” he said.
He also warned that media agencies still wielded incredible power arguing that there were very few “must buys” left in the media landscape. “Yes you’ll buy Google and Twitter, but there’s very few other players that can claim that status”.
Because it was so clear when a brand needed to use a publisher, when it needed to challenge a perception or to change someone’s preference, this was allowing for premium sites to charge a commanding CPM. And to integrate campaigns with editorial support, he stressed.
“Editorial sponsorship or alignment is much easier to achieve if you own a site,” he said.
Evolve Media is a publisher of enthusiast destinations for men and women offering marketers the ability to execute custom, content-led marketing solutions. It targets fortune 1000 advertisers for its network.
Broder himself started inside the Hollywood studio space where he seized on the opportunity presented by filmmakers “wasting colossal amounts of money on their own websites, when what they needed was access to film enthusiasts”.
Locally, Evolve owns branded sales company Gorilla Nation, which represents more than 100 entertainment and lifestyle communities online.
Broder was in Australia to work on the acquisition of other specialist sites but would not be drawn on what those sites were.
Globally, Evolve has recently acquired pet enthusiast sites DogTime.com and CatTime.com, which were added to its two overarching brands TotallyHer Media and Crave Online Media, its women’s and men’s interest brands.