Why The Lad Bible is ‘patient’ with mobile monetization

The Lad Bible has been trying to shed its beer-and-blokes image by covering more serious news content, a strategy that has extended to its first app on iOS. We talked with James Wigley, The Lad Bible’s commercial director, about how the publisher creates content for individual platforms and why it takes a conservative approach to display ads.

Why launch your first app now?
Our audience is young, mostly male and 85 percent mobile, so all our business is aimed at serving that, whether it’s our own site, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine or YouTube. The app was the next logical step.

How are you monetizing it?
It’s a mix of display, branded content and video pre-roll. We take a patient approach to monetization. One of the most significant decisions I make is often about when not to monetize. For instance, if we serve you a piece of video content under 60 seconds, we aren’t going to serve a 30-second pre-roll ad ahead of it.

What else do you have in the works?
In the new year, we’ll be rolling out apps for The Sport Bible, and then we’ll look at our other brands and ramp up our user-generated content-licensing business, The Content Bible.

Our mobile focus is very much on video and branded content. Our video team is expanding quickly, and next year, we are going to power-up our original storytelling. We’ve had some good results on Snapchat and Instagram with original video content, which has given us a sense of what is possible.

So what’s done well for you?
We did an exclusive feature for David Hayes’ comeback that received 1.3 million views on Facebook in the first 24 hours. A pared-down version on Snapchat received 1.9 million in 24 hours. Usually, we see more views on Facebook, but this shows us that Snapchat is increasingly an important part of our mix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIcruPI9NA4

What about branded content?
We did a “12 Hour Holiday” campaign with Doritos and OMD where they challenged our guys to have a holiday in Ibiza and be back to their desks by 9 in the morning. We created video for our website, streamed elements of the challenge on Periscope and Twitter, ran a short trailer on Instagram and used Snapchat for behind-the-scenes clips, which delivered a million Snapchat views in 24 hours. We obviously tailor content for where it’s going to sit: On Instagram, our video pieces are cinematographically beautiful; Snapchat is more raw and gets people closer to the story. Some media owners think of themselves as platform-agnostic, whereas we’re more platform-specific.

Young men are more likely to turn on ad blockers. How is this impacting you?
It’s not a massive issue for us. Ad blocking is a symptom of users who won’t stick around if you serve them a page with 100 different tags that eat up time and data. This is just the reality.

Images courtesy of The Lad Bible.

https://digiday.com/?p=149769

More in Media

Meta AI rolls out several enhancements across apps and websites with its newest Llama 3

Meta AI, which first debuted in September, also got a number of updates including ways to search for real-time information through integrations with Google and Bing.

Walmart rolls out a self-serve, supplier-driven insights connector

The retail giant paired its insights unit Luminate with Walmart Connect to help suppliers optimize for customer consumption, just in time for the holidays, explained the company’s CRO Seth Dallaire.

Research Briefing: BuzzFeed pivots business to AI media and tech as publishers increase use of AI

In this week’s Digiday+ Research Briefing, we examine BuzzFeed’s plans to pivot the business to an AI-driven tech and media company, how marketers’ use of X and ad spending has dropped dramatically, and how agency executives are fed up with Meta’s ad platform bugs and overcharges, as seen in recent data from Digiday+ Research.