16 Jun Group Nine Media says it got 114M social engagements last month
With last fall’s formation of Group Nine Media, 4 digital media organizations (Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Discovery’s Seeker) came together under a single corporate umbrella. Now the corporate says it’s seeing actual success connecting with readers and viewers, with 114 million social media engagements in May — up from 70 million in January.
As Group Nine CEO Ben Lerer (pictured above) put it, “We smoked it.”
But how significant is that quantity, particularly since it contains every part from likes to feedback to shares?
“Every engagement isn’t created equal,” Lerer admitted. Still, he argued that “more engagement is better than less.” And he stated the numbers present that “people aren’t just sitting on their phones and aimlessly scanning” on social media: “People are stopping and paying attention and taking an action at an enormous scale.”
This additionally ties into one in every of steadily repeated mantras in on-line publishing — the necessity to focus on engagement somewhat than pageviews.
In this case, Lerer stated he isn’t making an attempt to make the argument that “We’re not big, but we’re good.” In reality, the corporate factors to data from video analytics company Tubular exhibiting that it’s one of many high 10 media and leisure properties on-line, with greater than three billion views on Facebook alone in April. (And whereas Group Nine ranks eighth out of 10 when it comes views, it has the best engagement charge among the many properties in that high tier.)
“Instead of simply saying, ‘Hey, look, we’re large,’ we’re unpacking: Well, why are we large?” Lerer stated.
He added that the main target is much less on having just a few large viral hits, and extra on “raising the floor” in order that not one of the publications are spending time on content material that doesn’t get vital engagement.
“We’ve always talked about the idea of not having virality be a strategy, but having it be an outcome of good strategy,” he stated.
And simply as all engagement isn’t created equal, the identical is true of the assorted properties that make up Group Nine. Different publications do higher on completely different platforms — for instance, Seeker performs higher on YouTube whereas NowThis is stronger on Facebook.
Lerer stated that whereas he desires to make sure that “the editorial soul of each brand lives entirely at that brand,” the corporate can also be working to “create a center of excellence to take those learnings and transfer them to the other brands so all the brands get smarter.”
This results in one other large query: Is it harmful for a media firm to rely too closely on different platforms for distribution? Lerer stated publishing on social media is necessary for reaching customers the place they’re, somewhat than making an attempt to “swim upstream” — however he additionally stated there’s alternative for actual advert income, each within the current (“We happen to be focused on making large amounts of money on these platforms”) and sooner or later.
“I don’t think that the advertising solutions that exist on these platforms and the sort of profit sharing and partnerships that exists between distribution platforms and content creators … are the ones that are going to exist in the future,” Lerer stated. “I think there will be more value coming downstream to content creators as time goes on.”