There’s a short history of publishers fancying themselves as technology companies and building a business selling their tech to other publishers. Publishers realized that building a whole new side business around licensing their tech is a headache and that they needed to focus on what they’re good at, and leave the tech to others.
New York magazine is trying out a different approach. It built its own content management system (publishers like to give their homegrown CMSes cute names; this one is called Clay, for the magazine’s founder Clay Felker) in 2015 and then licensed the software to the online magazine Slate. Slate started using Clay a year ago and was set to fully migrate its site to Clay this week. But instead of New York charging Slate a licensing fee, Slate is paying New York in the form of code. The CMS is open-source, and developers from both titles contribute to it.
This works for New York because it doesn’t have to devote precious staff to support a client, said Daniel Hallac, the magazine’s chief product officer. Sharing code benefits both parties, too. Slate developed a plug-in so it can access Getty Images, and New York also plans to use the plug-in, for example.
For Slate, the open-source nature of the Clay CMS made sense because Slate has a development team that is comfortable operating without the outside support that a big tech company could supply, said Greg Lavallee, Slate’s director of technology.
He said he likes Clay because it turns all editorial elements such as taglines and pull quotes into their own building blocks, which makes it easier to meet the growing need to publish to distributed platforms like Facebook and Apple News. “It takes a firm stance on trying to componentize everything. It makes most of the distributed platforms much easier because all the platforms work that way,” he said.
Clay also doesn’t force its users to adopt every update; the publisher can pick and choose. And with Clay, Slate can control access to all its audience data.
It’s too early to say where New York magazine will take Clay, but it’s casually marketing it to others to see if there’s interest, especially small publishers that have some tech resources and want to build some tech on their own, but can’t afford to do everything in-house.
Slate and New York magazine have similarities, as independent, midsize publishers focused on politics and culture. Some publishers might be leery of sharing their technology with a competitor. Hallac sees the advantages outweighing any risk, adding that the two aren’t sharing things like editorial content, ad models and user experience, which he considers more important differentiators.
“By partnering with Slate, we’ve been able to increase the amount of people working on this because we’re pooling our resources,” he said. Plus, New York covers such a wide range of topics editorially, from food to fashion to politics, its potential competitive set is limitless.
“If we were to say we won’t talk to our competition, we wouldn’t be able to talk to anybody,” Hallac said. “But we’re also confident in our abilities. We’ll talk to anybody.”
Inside Hearst UK’s multi-pronged approach to third-party cookie replacements
Hearst UK's Ryan Buckley and Faye Turner are testing everything from 50,000-person panels to clean rooms.
Out of home fights for greater ad share as it cites better value on action taken by consumers
An OAAA study found that OOH is on par with other media in eliciting action from those consumers who recall seeing the ads. And since it's much less costly, it's a more effective means of influencing consumers.
The Rundown: BuzzFeed Inc. revenue up by 26% despite hits to commerce business, expects similar momentum in Q2
Despite significant declines in BuzzFeed Inc.’s commerce business, overall revenue was up, due to increases in the company's advertising and content arms.
SponsoredHow marketers and retailers are unlocking the true value of retail media
Ben Kneen, senior director of product management, Xandr It’s a challenging time for retailers in the advertising industry. As they cope with supply chain woes and inflation-related pressures, they seek high-margin revenue streams amid evolving privacy regulations and massive shifts in identity solutions — including IDFA, the deprecation of third-party cookies and more. In light […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Buying Briefing: Omnicom Media Group tackles supply-chain challenges for its clients
The media agency network created a metric designed to help brands calculate where and when to redirect media spend as a result of supply chain issues they face — rather than just putting a halt on spend when there’s a supply crunch.
The Rundown: Podcast production companies and platforms pitch diverse audiences and ad targeting improvements at IAB’s Podcast Upfront
The three-day podcast-focused event highlighted improvements in dynamic ad insertion, machine learning and diversity of creators, content and audiences.