What’s happening?


Considering the pressure on digital-media business, and the need for diversification, a handful of companies– including Vox Media and New York Media— are proactively pitching their publishing tech to other media companies and publishers.

Digging deeper:

New York Media in collaboration with Po.et, is working to power blockchain-based development in its content-management system, in a bid to help pitch its open-source technology while Vox Media fueled its move to license its publishing platform, Chorus, to other publishers.

To further explain the reason behind the move, Jesse Knight, a former Vox Media exec who is now a media and tech consultant, said “Starting around 2011, West Coast VCs [venture-capital firms] expected to see big tech teams at the media companies they were investing in. This led many privately held media companies to proactively build out large engineering and product teams with the hope of attaining a tech multiplier on their valuations,”

“Now that digital-media valuations are falling, especially for the less agile of the digital-first crowd, those tech multipliers are largely gone, which means that savvy CEOs and CTOs [chief technology officers] are looking to license a publishing platform and focus their spending on editorial and content production,” he added.

New York Media is obviously fueling up on tech, as it started licensing its content-management system, Clay, in January after signing its first customer, Slate. Since then, golf.com and Entercom’s Radio.com have signed on to have Clay handle their websites. This also involves rolling out of their latest subscription program and paywall to diversify publication’s revenue.

The collaboration between New York Media and Po.et, a rare opportunity for blockchain-based app developers:

Even though, no money was exchanged between New York Media and Po.et in the deal, “there are opportunities to build commercial products on Po.et that Clay can then leverage and sell,” Dicker, CEO of Po.et said.

There’s a glimmer of hope that Po.et and New York Media would encourage developers to build blockchain-based apps that solve broader issues in media, like rights-management tools which track the origin of aggregated stories and videos back to their source. Po.et is now a plug-in for Clay which allows any developer design applications.

That structure makes it a natural fit for blockchain technology, said Daniel Hallac, New York Media’s chief product officer.

“The more people build to it gives us more choice and allows us to experiment and try different things,” Hallac added.

Bottom line:

This is another opportunity for publishers to increase their reach and profits. To do this publishers ought to develop a new mindset when it comes to sales. Instead of chasing short-term/one-off ad deals, acquiring media tech gives them more control over the present and future of content marketing.


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