EP 10 – The State of Food Media with Paul Barron

    Fact checked by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and… Read more

    Edited by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and…Read more

    Paul Barron Foodable TV

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and...Read more

    Paul Barron is the CEO, Founder, Author, Filmmaker of Foodable Network. Paul had realized more than 15 years ago (back in the AltaVista days), the potential of digital media to the food industry. So with his tech skills, he took a risk with a new venture and slugged it out to the point that he is now expanding internationally and diversifying into different data-driven solutions.

    In this episode, we explore the state of food media.


    Stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and best practices in digital publishing.


    Podcast Transcription

    Vahe Arabian: Welcome to the State of Digital Publishing Podcast. State of Digital Publishing is a modern publication community providing resources to perspectives, collaboration, and news for the digital media publishing professionals in new media and technology. Our aim is to help industry professionals get more clients back to work on what really matters: monetizing content and client/reader relationships.

    Vahe Arabian: In Episode 10, I speak to Paul Barron, CEO/Founder, author, filmmaker of the Foodable Network. About food publishing and what he sees lies ahead.
    Vahe Arabian: Hi, Paul, how are you doing?
    Paul Barron: Doing excellent. Thanks for having me on your podcast.
    Vahe Arabian: Thanks for agreeing to join us. It’s all very exciting to explore food media ’cause we haven’t done that before so you’re the first. Thank you for joining.
    Paul Barron: I’m okay, great. So, I’m a guinea pig for food media. I love that, okay.
    Vahe Arabian: It’s all about experimentation, so let’s see where it takes us. Paul, just for people who don’t know about Foodable TV, if you can just start off by providing the background, how you started, your team, and how it looks today?
    Paul Barron: Actually, kind of the genesis of the idea started really about 15 years ago. I was in what is called traditional publishing, which is online and magazines, also in the food space, really since the mid-90’s. And we started using online as a big part of the movement for food media. It was slow going at first, but it kind of got us going in early 2000, finally, we started seeing a little more online traffic. I just knew there was something bigger and there would eventually be a bigger play, so obviously, the advent of social media and the iPhone and a bandwidth in general kind of started me thinking to go in the direction of a video first product. And that is where Foodable Network was born. So, foodabletv.com is our website, even though it’s not necessarily our primary distribution point.
    Vahe Arabian: Understood. And do you guys cover everything from events and the editorial and everything within the network, correct?
    Paul Barron: We do. We have on the show, or on the network, we have 15 shows, and that includes podcasts of video shows. We also have a full-blown kitchen and bar studio here at our facilities, and we do a ton of editorial, expert write-ups, events, things of that nature, everything from festivals all the way to our own events at places like foodable.io, which is our big event in Chicago. But yeah, we cover the gamut of foods from chefs to fast food, is really kind of our shtick, and been doing that for many years.
    Vahe Arabian: And how did you come to the point of saying okay, now this is like a viable business media, business that you can grow your team and expand to, diversify it into events and shows and …
    Paul Barron: Sure.
    Vahe Arabian: And everything else.
    Paul Barron: Yeah. For us, it was a unique and different journey. My background has been in technology, literally from leaving college. I went to work for Microsoft, it was my first job, one of my first jobs, and spent a lot of time in understanding how tech was used to move a business forward. That kind of got me into publishing, obviously leveraging my tech background, and because of that, technology was what I focused on really for my 25 years or so in food publishing.
    Paul Barron: So, the tech was the genesis and that got us into using social as the primary tool for distributing content and this was in 2008, 2009. We developed a unique proprietary system for targeting audience and once I was able to do that, I realized, “Hey, this is a great vehicle for distributing content”. And that was really where we engineered the concept of Foodable as the way it’s built right now. Which is, it’s kind of a cross hybrid between a publishing company, a production company, and a Hollywood movie studio.
    Vahe Arabian: It’s interesting you say that. I’ll come back to the business structure just briefly. But just take us back when you were thinking about content distribution when you first started. How do you define the kind of content to be distributed because looking from the outside point of view, I remember that a lot of people first use to get recipes from magazines and then that we got a whole movement with TV shows and everything else. How did you, how was it back in 2008?
    Paul Barron: It was very slow going. Magazines and the Food Network were only the real way to get the content out to the masses. To get content into the trade, it was magazines that were the big killer app, so to speak, in 2008. And some websites, there were a few handful of websites that were doing a good job with it, obviously, social media was very resistive at that point for publishers. I was kind of one of those rebels that decide to bet my entire career on it and did so. But that was really it. You had websites and magazines and a couple of handful of events, and that was really how you communicated to your audience.
    Vahe Arabian: So, communicating recipes, communicating ingredients, is what would you say would be the majority?
    Paul Barron: Yep. That was it. That was it. Social came along obviously in 2000, really around 2006 and seven, we started seeing some testing with it. We did a lot of starts-stops even before that, with things like podcasts, and you know, very slow going. But I knew that eventually, it would definitely be the way to handle distribution of content in the future.
    Vahe Arabian: And do you think offline played a role in aligned consumption because even, there was a point where there were a lot of TV shows around like Master Chef and everything else where sort of made the footage you see sexy and the whole point of cult of personalities and different types of dishes and variety that people can cook from home. Do you think that played a role in blowing up the food media industry?
    Paul Barron: No doubt. Food Network I would say is the reason the industry is where it is today. The exposure, just of the food business as a whole, and maybe not necessarily just Food Network. You can go all the way back to Julia Child and her cooking show. There’s always been that love affair with food. The problem was there wasn’t a distribution mechanism that was out there that could truly bring food to life. And that is where video became a massive play. And then obviously, the internet just in general, much less mobile, was not ready for video consumption because the bandwidth required to do really great quality video. So, cable news, or cable TV, and the traditional broadcast TV was really the only vehicles out there.
    Paul Barron: So, I think Food Network did an amazing job in getting things rolling. Obviously now, where the digital age is today, it’s a completely new playground. Really, for all digital media in general.
    Vahe Arabian: So, with that I guess, just to make it obvious, you work on the B to B side though, a lot of people when they think about food media, they think about B to C side, you’ve seen like delish.com and those type of companies. It showed experimentation behind food like you have with the bar and kitchen, they have a big kitchen and showing the recipe and stuff like that, so …
    Vahe Arabian: Just wanted to pass this question, how are you starting to look at the B to B side and trying to incentivise and how do you find the process helping with audience development?
    Paul Barron: Well, it has changed a lot in the four years we’ve been rolling here on Foodable. And what’s happened is, there was a time when we felt like the trade side of it or the B to B side, would kind of consistently be the big play into food media. ‘Cause there were a few big players out there. But what happened about three years ago, is the cord cutting began, and the shift of both food media from B to B, to B to C, became real. And now our content is equally consumed by consumers and food enthusiasts as much as it is by a chef in a major brand like The Four Seasons or somewhere.
    Paul Barron: And I think all of that has come about, really because of the move from the digital standpoint of cord cutting, and that is, obviously YouTube is a huge reason for many of these vehicles beginning to work because it trained our society to consume video. And, of course, that’s moved us into other areas such as OTT and non-traditional ways of getting content that five years ago didn’t even exist, much less have the power it has on our society as it does today.
    Vahe Arabian: It’s interesting you said that, that it actually played a role in making up mass adoption in B to C. With that I guess, you have that divide, like you said, with more casual people or casual cooks who want to do more professional food, they want to prepare food and consume that media, how do you see that divide now?
    Paul Barron: Right.
    Vahe Arabian: ‘Cause there’re two different audiences, but essentially they are looking at the same thing, I guess. What are your thoughts on it?
    Paul Barron: Yep. Well, we were, whether it was just pure luck and brilliance or combination, what we realized early is that the ticket to great quality content was using great quality subject matter experts. Well, that is chefs, brand leaders, people who are building food, grow the food, make the food. Those are the stories. And whether you’re a chef in Sydney, Australia or you’re a chef in New York, you look and watch those kinds of stories. But it’s also because of the awareness that Food Network helped place on the American people, and really the global consumer, is now everyone is as knowledgeable about food as they’ve ever been. In some cases, maybe as knowledgeable as a restaurant operator.
    Paul Barron: And because of that, it leveled the field between the consumption of content being only professionals to the consumption of content now being professionals and enthusiasts. And there’s just a ton of those enthusiasts out there, really across the world. Food is now a new form of entertainment, obviously, you can tell with the number of food shows that are all over cable or Netflix or Amazon Prime TV or Hulu, you name it, food is one of the center components much like sports for most entertainment components.
    Vahe Arabian: And how do you find that now? Do you think it’s oversaturated? ‘Cause like you said, a lot of it is relying on influences around the stories. And there’re more and more chefs coming into the scene as well, which are not being recognized. How do you find that now?
    Paul Barron: Actually, I’m not sure that it’s over saturated. I actually think it’s underserved. And the reason is, what’s happening is the dynamic shift in consumption. All right. So, and I get asked this question a lot, is when you look at consumers and operators alike. Here in the U.S., we have 14 million restaurant operators, people that are in the business. And before that, before the digital age, at best you were probably reaching 10 percent of the market. And at the very best now, we’re probably only reaching 20, 25 percent of the market with a smartphone in the pocket of every person.
    Paul Barron: So, mass consumption is primed for media right now. And people go how will that be the case. Well, if you just look at the food business alone, let’s just take the 14 million, now we are in the position where the TV or the device, the audio device, like you’re listening to this podcast right now, you might be listening to it on iTunes or Google Play or TuneIn or iHeartRadio, you can kind of start to see the distribution and dissemination of content and starts to move. With distribution and dissemination of content at scale across a lot of consistent and quality networks like a Spotify or an iTunes, your scale of audiences are going to grow exponentially. And we think that’s what’s happening.
    Paul Barron: And with the exponential growth of audience, the problem is, there is not enough good content now out there. So, they’ll be a stage where there’s a bunch of shoddy content that will fill the backfill, this is exactly what happened on YouTube, it’s exactly what happened on Twitter, it all started the same way. Once the pipe was opened, the Charlatans come out, the shoddy content comes out, and eventually, the Artisans and the quality take over. Because eventually, the consumers will go “Uh, look at what really is here”. And now the pipelines are set.
    Paul Barron: Every person in most modern countries has a TV, mini-computer in their pocket, and has kind of completely displaced the idea of tuning into a show, other than live sports. So, I think the opportunities are going to be absolutely unbelievable in the next 10 years
    Vahe Arabian: So, do you think there’s a scale game that’s to be played in the food industry? Because they’re a lot of industries where they focus on micro-influences, focus on the quality of engagement. You think that it might still set scale game in reaching to more people?
    Paul Barron: Yeah, I think so, because even within a scale of the industry, when you think about, especially food, gosh every person on the planet is going to consume this every day. So, it becomes an artistry of sort. We start to see major media companies, whether it’s New York Times or CNN or any of those who’ve already integrated food into their publishing component into their array of content. And at a scale that is probably as much as politics, sports, entertainment, etc.
    Paul Barron: So, now you’ve scaled food. And you got what is going to be 10 billion people on this planet and interest in food is only going to accelerate. So, we think there is going to be an absolute bonanza in terms of where that market is going to be. The key is going to be on what I called decentralized distribution. That’s going to be the model of the future for content distribution.
    Vahe Arabian: Give me your definition of that.
    Paul Barron: Sure. Most companies that are considered new media companies, air quotes there, have built a website and expect everybody to come to them on that website, have created an email and expect everybody to open that email in their box. I believe that the future of content is going to come to the consumer where they are. If they are on Netflix, it will be in a form of a docu-series. If they are on Hulu or Amazon Prime or Twitter or Facebook or the next five social media networks that come out after that, or the next 25 different OTT products that come out, when I say OTT, over the top, whether it’s Roku or Amazon Firestick or Apple TV, all those vehicles are now distribution point. And it’s only going to grow. You’ve got Sling TV coming into the game, you’ve got Pluto coming into the game, there’re so many opportunities.
    Paul Barron: Now the key, for all of this happening, and this is where we got ahead of the game before, I think we beat everyone to the punch, is the library. So, it’s like a studio. The reason Disney why Disney is who they are, it’s because they have this massive library. Well, that’s exactly our case. We spent almost six years producing content at a breakneck pace, four years into actually working a strategy to distribute it. And now we’re sitting on 50,000 of premium food content in the video. And because of that, we can almost tell a story on any topic out there. Add in some things around data, which is kind of our Trojan Horse, and all of a sudden you have a product that is really unmatchable.
    Paul Barron: But I think that’s going to be the distribution model of the future is, not so much websites. If you look at Tasty and BuzzFeed and Now This, and many others that have been built on social items, I’m not promoting you build a business on social, I think you use social for what it is. It’s just one of the tools you use today. To help handle your distribution. There will be many more tools coming down the pipe in the future as well.
    Vahe Arabian: I’m playing devil’s advocate here. Do you think other existing publishers might think that food publishing as okay, this serves up common recipes, here there are certain types of the year that people usually try up certain recipes, and they might have a spin to it. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think that’s the case around food media publishing? And there’s an aspect of Top Chef celebrities going through their journey of cooking the food and portraying the country. Do you think there is a limit to it? Or how do you explain if you’re going to speak to someone about food media, how would you explain that to them?
    Paul Barron: Well, I think food media like many aspects of media has really taken on a whole new complexion. In the past, food media whether you were Bon Appétit Magazine or you were a Food Network, recipes were the origination point. It was the thing you built your business on was recipes. You know, the Celebrity Chef came along and now all of sudden it’s that. Now, I think both of those are failed potential media constructs, only because there’s a limitation on how you can scale that. Because there are only so many ways you can do certain things. Obviously, food is an exploration, but in working with certain ingredients, you’re only going to work with certain ingredients a few thousand ways. And then it doesn’t scale beyond that.
    Paul Barron: So, then you run into the aspect, is the strategy a news strategy? Do I become the news orientation? So, I think it’s a combination. You have to have the ability to do news, manage trends, and insights of what’s happening in the space, which is going to happen all around the big brands. Which consumers want to know as much about Chipotle and what’s happening over there, as they want to know about the next great restaurant opening in New York by Daniel Boulud.
    Paul Barron: So, I think the appetite starts to really grow. And the storytelling has to become so much more compelling. And I think that’s where publishers will separate from the packs. So, it’s much like what is happening in the digital news today. If you look at some of the leaders who are starting to really make a difference and essentially overtaking what is considered the mainstream media. You know, for CNN to be outflanked by YouTube channels, that just doesn’t make any sense to the common media person. But the reality is, these smaller companies are so much more nimble and have the ability to move it so many different ways that they almost become impossible. It’s like a gnat fighting Goliath, you can’t hit it, but it’s still here. And I think that’s where we’ll see a lot of food media start to really, and niche will be a part of that, of course.
    Paul Barron: But I think there will be some powerhouses that come out of it. And hopefully, they’ll learn from their mainstream counterparts mistakes and continue to innovate, in terms of giving the audience what they want.
    Vahe Arabian: What are some of the directions that food publishing is taking? Like you said, that those restaurants with their special recipe, but I believe on your website you, and some of the trends you’re speaking about on your channel, you’re talking about different directions. What are some of the directions, some of the nimble companies taking at the moment, besides yours?
    Paul Barron: Sure. I think for any great publisher, and or producer of content, in the future data has to be their backbone. 20 years ago for reporting, it had to be research and sourcing. Today, it’s all about data. We have a tool that we started building actually before the network, called Foodable Labs, and Foodable Labs essentially is a part algorithm and keyword index that we have built around food media and food, in general, to track trends, track personalities, track brands. And what it enables us to do, is start to see the percolation of certain particular trends, particular brands. These might be ingredient trends, these might be news trends. Here’s a good example, in Foodable Labs, when we’re here in the U.S., and watching the elections unfolding before our very eyes. We looked at our data to determine how the restaurant operators of the United States were going to vote. And much like what you’re seeing right now with Cambridge Analytica and the news here, with what’s happening with Facebook, and some of the dirty dealings they did with data.
    Paul Barron: The point is, there is a lot of public data out there of what people’s opinions are or what they are talking about, what they like, what kind of wine, what kind of food. We did that in the early age, in the early days of the election and we predicted a win for Trump based on the food service industry, who was slanting toward Trump being the winner in the election. Sure enough, four months later, he took office. So, that was an example of how data, whether you liked that model or not, the idea was that we got to see the real pulse of the industry was and the real pulse of what the consumers were talking about. And when you have that kind of data, you can start to report on content and information that makes much more sense to the average viewer, reader, or consumer content.
    Paul Barron: You’re no longer feeding the news to them. You’re only adding to their diet of good content that they’re already enjoying or researching or reading a lot more of or watching a lot more of because they are talking about it so much on social media.
    Vahe Arabian: So, are you looking at to make these predictions or how you…?
    Paul Barron: So, we built a database of terms. That is essentially our golden chest of what’s happening in the restaurant industry. We add to this on a day-to-day basis. We look and search terminology of what’s being used on Google, we look at social and we basically created a data queue around those terms, and then we build an algorithm to go out and look for that data. So, by doing that, it kind of gives us a pulse of what’s happening around a specific thing. We don’t have it in every aspect of all the things in society. We have it on food because that’s our expertise area. And actually, I built this dataset over my career because when I started using search before Google, by the way, when AltaVista was the search engine. We were using a search engine and keyword tagging, even back in the AOL era.
    Paul Barron: So, I started building a massive database of terms, over 15 years ago. And that was everything from key chefs, to brands, to key menu items, certain culinary aspects of our business, certain styles, trends that are being done in food as well as aspects around a whole subculture of nomenclature that was used in a common language in the industry. So, by doing that it has enabled us to really come up with some pretty interesting stuff. And social has basically been a huge fire hose of information. You never had access to 50 million water cooler conversations before Twitter. You never had access to 50 million sharing of kids’ photos of soccer practice until Instagram.
    Paul Barron: So, now we can look at the amount of content coming through that, apply it to our data cube, and really start to understand what’s happening in the industry. And make predictions based on good, solid information about a topic. And the way we looked at Chipotle was we saw brand sentiment falling over a period of time. So, when brand sentiment is falling, that’s a publicly traded company, believe me, you’re going to see management change. Because that’s going to affect their price at a stock level. So, CEO changes are inevitable. But we predicted it. And sure enough, they hired the Taco Bell guy about six weeks later. Same thing with Chipotle in the sense they were going to have to diversify menu because they were losing market share compared to other companies who had to diversify menu. Chipotle was kind of known for their simplicity. So again, we were correct in that. They introduced tacos. Back into the market, we’ve had predictions on Amazon.
    Paul Barron: We don’t do that show a lot because it takes a lot of work in sifting through data. I wish we could hire more data scientists just to do that. But it does help us with being able to come up some really compelling stories.
    Vahe Arabian: How does this help you package your products and what you’re offering to B to B sector?
    Paul Barron: It helps, but at this point, unfortunately, the advertisers and the sponsors just aren’t smart enough to even understand how this makes a difference in their business. Even if they had the information, I’m not sure they’d do anything with it. At least in the food service industry, we just haven’t seen a sophistication level for understanding how to take real, actionable information from the industry and then turn around and maximize that use of that information to build a business. We know that it’s there, but we’re not marketing consultants, where we would say, “Hey, we’re finding these kinds of trends in a certain type of beverage or finding these trends in a certain competitor that may be occurring”. They’re just not reactive enough yet.
    Paul Barron: But I think that time’s going to happen because we’ll see some pretty big changes in food. You know, here in the next few years mainly because of the whole transition between transparency in food, which is going to be important, but also the pressure the consumers are putting on these operators. And it’s just like pull through. If enough consumers push on something, believe me, it’s happening now with Facebook, if enough consumers push on something on a topic because of a company behaving badly, you’re going to get a reaction. And that will happen all the way down the food chain into restaurants.
    Paul Barron: So an example, a chef changes something on a menu, if his customers push back enough, guess what, that menu item is coming back. So, that’s a simple way of explaining how cause and effect work, but imagine that around products. And we think that’s kind of the future. Because so much waste is occurring on companies building a product that may or may not ever do very well and they wonder why sales are not great by the restaurant industry where a chef may not buy a certain type of pork. Well, the trend may have already been decided way before that product ever made it to market.
    Paul Barron: So, I don’t know that publishers and contact creators can be also data scientists for the future. But I think it will be very, very important for us to have a lot of that kind of knowledge along with some key partners that will eventually maybe start to create strategic alliances around where advertising goes away in its entirety and it’s all based on the integration of content. Story based on data.
    Vahe Arabian: So, how will current sponsors and advertising buying to Foodable TV and what you guys are doing? How are they seeing your vision now?
    Paul Barron: So, we have a variety of streams of revenue. We have obviously traditional advertising and just buying add on a podcast or a video. Pretty straightforward, that’s pretty to understand. We have integrated or native storytelling. That’s where we integrate the product into the story. We still keep it editorial but the subject matter expert or the subject matter of the content might be directed at a supplier. Those are the two traditional models.
    Paul Barron: Additionally, we, of course, have events which now we do a lot of on-demand products so that’s also another revenue stream for us in terms of paid content. Which we believe will eventually be as much as 50 percent of our revenue as paid access. I think that time is coming. As long as you have premium, high quality, and super engaged audience. Data is the other part of our revenue which we do sell quite a bit in terms of our reports and our analytics. That is really the nutshell of all our tools
    Paul Barron: We have some new ones coming down the pipe I can’t talk about. But there are some other products we think are going to be pretty big in the future.
    Vahe Arabian: What’s the biggest proportion at the moment, the proxy, the morals you mentioned?
    Paul Barron: You know, it’s slowly, I would say in 2018 based on our predictions, we think that integrated storytelling is going to take over the advertiser. Advertising has been number one for us. Just traditional advertising. But we think this year, integrative storytelling is going to take the number one slot. So, if you mix all that together in terms of the different data streams, whether it is 30 or 40 percent in traditional advertising or what we call traditional advertising, but production in content creation is moving fast up the ladder. Data is also becoming a pretty intriguing business model for us as well.
    Vahe Arabian: That’s promising to hear about data and how you guys are moving forward, looking forward to that. So, do you see any other trends that are going to be impactful for the food media publishing space this year? Like there’s been, for example, in terms of storytelling, AR, and VR, do you think that’s going to be applicable? What are the trends of the technology that you are seeing might be worth exploring?
    Paul Barron: I think AR, VR, is a few years away. But there are some opportunities there for immersive storytelling that might happen in the remote news before it happens in food. But it could happen. All of this will depend on how fast the iPhone and the Android products accelerate in terms of the products and apps that are available. But that could be an opportunity. The cool thing is, as you’re building that kind of library, that’s going to be an important aspect of understanding if it’s a content that people will consume. Because that’s going to really be the end of the day, will people use it? Otherwise, it will be like Facebook Live. It’s here for a little bit and then it’s just gone.
    Paul Barron: The other thing that I think is coming is licensing. And this is something I think lots of people overlook. We do it now. It is a very small part of our business. We don’t even put it on the balance sheet, as a revenue center. But I think in the future it will be. The key around the license, I think, is as the distribution outpost multiplies, depending if there is a mass consolidation and I think this will depend if someone like Apple comes in and buys Netflix or Disney decides to just sweep up the whole industry.
    Paul Barron: If we see 15 on-demand networks, like Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, etc. If we see 15 of those, there’s going to be a massive appetite for content. And that’s where I think licensing will play into it. And for us, video, even on a podcast, I think podcast networks will be next. Whether it’s someone like Spotify or if some of these upstarts start to spin the podcast model more so. I mean, it’s kind of ironic … I did my first podcast in 2006. It was brand … the podcast was just getting off the ground. Nobody had even heard of it. And it failed miserably. ‘Cause we couldn’t get anybody to listen. ‘Cause nobody knew what it was. And much less how to get to the content. But I think now, it’s finally become of age. And I think that’s another big opportunity for publishers is what we’re doing right here, is putting content on our podcast.
    Vahe Arabian: That’s awesome. And I just wrap things up. What are some 2018 initiatives you are working on? I know you said you can’t mention new products and I understand that. But are there any exciting campaigns you’re looking forward to, or anything you want to do more of this year?
    Paul Barron: Sure. Well, we’re releasing a lot more content on Amazon Prime TV, so we have a ton of content on Amazon Prime right now. It’s doing really well. We think we got our first documentary out on Amazon Prime as well, it will also hit Netflix. With our content, I think we’ll start to see more and more of that consumption. But for us, it’s more international opportunities because we are seeing some good numbers from the U.K. so the expansion of our content into the global market will be a big play for us this year. And, I think, what we are looking at in terms, it’s kind of ironic, it’s kind of the complete opposite of that, which is the localized events. And that’s what foodable.io is. We do this event in Chicago, it’s gone on its fourth year. But this year we’re going to be doing more events and one of them is going to be right here in Miami. In our hometown.
    Paul Barron: But it’s localized, it’s activation events. So it’s really tied into to bringing the local operator. When I say operators, they are local restaurant businesses, into the mix but also the influencers and the enthusiasts are tied to it as well. Those are the big initiatives for us in 2018.
    Vahe Arabian: That’s very exciting to hear. And I’ve seen it as well. I’ll find events, and it’s another distribution point and not rely on platforms. I think it’s playing a big part and I wish you utmost success and hope your international expansion and continue, so … thanks so much for your time for joining us.
    Paul Barron: So, thanks a lot for having me on the podcast. I really appreciate it. Lemme know if I can help you again.
    Vahe Arabian: Thank you for joining us on Episode 10 on State of Digital Publishing Podcast. Be sure to follow us by visiting us on stateofdigitalpublishing.com. We’re also on Twitter, Facebook, and on the major podcasting networks. Until next time.

    Receive timely analysis of news and developments in the digital publishing space directly in your mailbox.


    Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the ultimate list of smart technologies and free resources to boost your publisher SEO and content efforts.

    Join 3,000+ publishers around the world and get exclusive tips and resources delivered to your inbox.

    Being a part of the SODP Community has made a real impact on my problem-solving at work. From bouncing off paywalls solution ideas to thinking about an SEO strategy for my paywall, it’s the most value-adding professional community I’m a part of.

    Yvette Dimiri, Head of Growth, Stears


    Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the ultimate list of smart technologies and free resources to boost your publisher SEO and content efforts.

    Join 3,000+ publishers around the world and get exclusive tips and resources delivered to your inbox.