Maven Partner News - June 23, 2020
The breadth and quality of mavens in our coalition has been impressively on display in coverage of the social strife across the nation. Here’s a sampling:
- Ana Colon of Fashionista on a movement among retailers to increase the products they carry from black-owned businesses
- G. Roc of TheShoeGame with The Story of My Life -- What’s Going on is Nothing New for Black People
- Anika Harris of Uptown Magazine on the history and shocking rebirth of blackface,
- The editors of new maven partner Glam.com on how celebrities are talking with their kids about racism.
- Rinku Sen, one of the nation’s leading voices on racial justice (and also a member of the Maven board of directors), on why #defundthepolice is a genius strategy
- The editors of History.com on milestones in black U.S. history from the inception of slavery to the George Floyd protests.
Sports provides a natural intersection to talk about race. Here are two compelling pieces from SI.com:
- Jason Jordan's interview with Coach LeVelle Moton of North Carolina Central and a frightening encounter with police because he “fit the description”
- Corey Parson, an analyst on our fantasy sports team, and Chaunte'l Powell of our GamecockDigest channel share why awareness is not enough following the killing of George Floyd
GROWTH PLUS OPERATING EFFICIENCIES
In case you missed it, on June 5 the company released a comprehensive general status report and guidance for 2020, which you can read here. While maintaining reduced operating costs during the pandemic-induced slowdown, the company continues to realize traffic and subscription growth.
The company remains staffed for growth and is well prepared to capitalize on our current assumption of a return of advertising dollars and sports marketing by Q4. We believe our diverse revenue streams and range of content partners have mitigated what otherwise would be a sharper drop in revenue in recent months.
The scalability and efficiency of the platform is illustrated by the charts below, which reflects the benefits of merging four digital media platforms, integrating TheStreet and Sports Illustrated, and signing and re-launching hundreds of independent content creators (“mavens”). Click here to read more.
TURNING THE CORNER WITH ADVERTISING
CPMs (the amount advertisers pay to publishers for each 1,000 impressions produced by an ad) for June are ahead of our monthly forecast, hopefully suggesting the corner has been turned since COVID-19 decimated the ad market.
Leveraging the category diversity and scale of Maven's coalition, we have formed new packages for advertisers, such as "home," “multicultural," “pet care," and "lifestyle" to complement our mature categories of "sports" and "finance."
THESTREET: A COVID SILVER LINING
While COVID-19 has halted sports and thus depressed digital sports traffic, user engagement with finance, history and lifestyle content are all up. Moreover, subscription bookings -- driven significantly by TheStreet -- are running at a healthy $4 million to $5 million per month.
Since launching on Maven’s platform, TheStreet’s business has grown significantly and then accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis. Annual subscription revenue for 2020 is running nearly double 2019 results.
Of note: Katherine Ross of TheStreet secured a one-on-one interview with NIH director Dr. Anrthony Fauci last week about various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The illuminating conversation, told in a series of video segments, gained significant national attention, including coverage on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
POSITIVE EBITDA EXPECTED IN FOURTH QUARTER
Despite the COVID-19-triggered slowdown, Maven continues to provide guidance for 2020 annual revenue to be greater than $115 million. That’s down $45 million from the pre-COVID forecast but up from the approximately $62 million (unaudited) in 2019. Assuming sports return in the second half of 2020, along with modest stability in the advertising market for the balance of 2020, we expect the company to achieve positive EBITDA during Q4 2020.
It’s getting easier to navigate around the Maven coalition! If you’ve been to TheStreet.com lately you may have noticed a new “key” menu in the upper-right corner offering access to channels in sports, lifestyle, finance and entertainment, as well as an improved primary menu at upper left. In the next week or so you’ll see this new “universal navigation” rolled out across Sports Illustrated and the various Maven Community channels including team channels and finance “mavens.”
RECENT MAVEN CHANNEL LAUNCHES
Coming Soon to Maven
As always, you'll find a full list of Mavens by category at Maven.io.
Thank you for being part of Maven.