Maven Partner News - July 8, 2020

MavenIR

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: THE IMPORTANT CONVERSATION ABOUT BLACK LIVES MATTER AND WORKFORCE MAKEUP

During these exciting and rapidly changing times, commitment to a racially diverse workforce is being examined in companies across America. Maven welcomes both the exploration and the discussion around race and social justice, as well as the critical truth that Black Lives Matter.

So far in 2020: we’ve added to our affiliate contracts a clause on celebrating differences; started a Diversity & Inclusion Committee; are conducting a Maven workforce demographics check; granted a paid holiday on #BlackoutTuesday; added a permanent paid company holiday for Juneteenth; budgeted for implicit bias and anti-racism education; and are refining recruitment and retention practices for when the opportunity for additional hiring returns.

There particularly has been public scrutiny of the racial makeup of our Sports Illustrated editorial team. The group we inherited had 16 persons of color; it now has 35, including local team publishers recently signed. Among this year’s additions is En Fuego, a Latinx-owned and -staffed channel covering the intersection of race, culture and sports.

We understand this all is not nearly enough, and we are committed to doing better.

ADVERTISING: CPMs CONTINUE TREND UP; MAJOR BRANDS BOYCOTTING FACEBOOK

The turnaround in CPMs that we began to see in early June continued throughout the month. That consistency gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic that the worst of the COVID-19 havoc on ad revenue is behind us. Moreover, June’s CPMs were slightly above June 2019 levels.

Advertisers in recent weeks are expressing interest in BIPOC*-owned media outlets. Among those in our Maven coalition are two national leaders in the arenas they cover: AllHipHop.com (once dubbed by Essence magazine as “the CNN of hip hop”), and Indian Country Today, an iconic publication whose transition to Maven and digital media has helped fuel its renaissance.

In what is shaping up as one of the biggest advertising stories in years, major brands such as Unilever, Honda, Ford, Pepsi, Coke, Starbucks and many more are boycotting Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms over hate-speech policies. This is significant because approximately 85% of every ad dollar that comes to market in the U.S. is directed to Facebook/Instagram and Google/Youtube.

The boycott provides an opportunity for our Maven coalition because we have scale (150 million unique user per month across a broad spectrum of categories); our advertising packages have expanded beyond sports and finance and into home, pet care, multicultural (industry term), lifestyle and more; and these packages coupled with our advanced audience intelligence technology provide advertisers with a great alternative as they look to other mediums beyond social.

*Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

FINANCE: FILINGS ON PATH

We continue with the process of completing SEC filings required to unify and catch up audits from the five businesses we’ve acquired over the past two years. Our 2018 10K is nearly wrapped and, as we noted in May, we expect to complete all our filings through 2019 this summer and move forward with the aim of uplisting to NASDAQ.

MAVEN SPOTLIGHT:

PetHelpful.com (“everything you need to know about your pets, brought to you by fellow animal lovers and experts”) is the sixth-largest pet publisher domain in the U.S., according to Comscore statistics. And it’s the No. 1 dog destination on the Web, per Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) market concentration data, The HHI is a common measure of market concentration and is used to determine market competitiveness.

PetHelpful’s content is wide ranging with pieces such as Pet Ideas for 5- and 10-gallon aquarium tanks and informative with articles like Why is my dog eating grass frantically?

OUTSTANDING, TOPICAL CONTENT:

While the sport world has been on hold, these past four months of sheltering-in-place have highlighted the strength of our diverse coalition of media partners as we’ve seen increased user engagement in the finance, history and lifestyle categories. Some of the outstanding, topical recent content from those verticals include:

SUMMER IS HERE!

Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue will be hitting mailboxes and newsstands July 21 (marking the 58th installment of the annual issue), and regular updates and feature stories can be found online at swimsuit.si.com.

SI Swimsuit continues its journey diversifying the modeling industry and improving visibility for underrepresented demographics of women while encouraging women to utilize their voices to grow and promote their own platforms. The diverse group in the 2020 issue includes, among others, Halima Aden, Camille Kostek, Hunter McGrady, Olivia Culpo, Jasmine Sanders, Kate Bock, Emily DiDonato, Samantha Hoopes and Kim Riekenberg.

RECENT MAVEN CHANNEL LAUNCHES:

Finance/Business:

As always, you'll find a full list of Mavens by category at Maven.io.

Thank you for being part of Maven.