In June 2007, Glam Media, a network of women’s fashion and lifestyle sites, passed NBC Universal’s iVilliage.com as the highest trafficked online media company targeting women, per ComScore metrics.The comparison drew the ire of iVillage’s president Deborah Fine who stated at the time it’s like comparing “apples to cauliflower.” Nevertheless, founder and CEO Samir Arora pointed out that ComScore measures them in the same space, an important distinction from the marketer perspective. To get there, Arora has crafted Glam Media as a publisher network that has grown to over 400 independently operated Web sites clustered around 20 “owned and operated” sites, which now attract about 25 million unique visitors monthly and 43.5 million globally, per ComScore, placing it among the top 25 Internet media companies.It’s a strategy that Arora claims traditional publishers have missed out on: Eliminating the “destination site” concept by harnessing the power of a carefully assembled network of independent publishers while simultaneously working the marketing side by creating the ad serving technology that injects large-format and interactive ad units directly into the content that best contextualizes them. A Package DealGlam Media, with offices in San Francisco for technology development and New York for media, officially launched during Fashion Week in New York in fall 2005. Since then the company has attracted over 200 advertisers that have purchased a variety of display and rich media ads that are designed to be as attractive and engaging as the content they’re positioned within.Arora compares the contextual package arrangement to a typical September issue of Vogue. “If you package content and advertising well the ads are not only desirable, they become as important as the content itself. If you’re reading a September issue of Vogue, is it for the ads, the content, or both?”According to Arora, it’s both. The fusion of compelling advertising and content is at the center of his company’s mission and something where he says traditional media have largely fumbled the ball. “Most of the traditional media companies were having a hard enough time trying to create content for the Internet and when they tried to bring the advertising experience into it they did not know how to translate the full-page glossy ads or full video immersion to the Internet.”Glam’s technology division has engineered two technology platforms—one that serves the ads across the network, called Glam Evolution, and one that allows site owners to format and syndicate their content across Glam’s various channels. The combination, says Arora, allows Glam to place ads with a high degree of contextual control.The ad-edit package is something Arora thinks traditional publishers are inherently unable to do, as long as they keep trying to shoehorn content that comes from a strictly print or broadcast heritage. “Content that resembles traditional media—print or broadcast—actually does not perform very well on the Internet,” he says. “It’s two different things. To engage users on the Internet you have to create highly visual and interactive content.Glam also produces custom “advertorial” content for its clients, which Arora says accounts for about 20 percent of overall revenues. These products are typically custom packages that include display and rich media ads, as well as interactive elements such as quizzes and microsites. Reebok signed such a deal with Glam in March 2007 for a six-week stretch to promote the launch of Scarlett Johansson’s shoe and apparel line.Revenues from advertisers are shared with the participating network sites, some making in the high six figures. The Network Effect, or Life in the ‘Mid-Tail’At the core of Glam’s business model is the network of publishing partners that cluster around the Glam-owned and operated anchor sites that represent each content channel. It’s a model that, says Arora, further separates the company from its big media competitors. “It’s the recognition that media on the Internet is not following the clustered hits business of traditional media—print or broadcast,” he says. “The top 10 magazines have a commanding share of market versus the next 50 or 100. And the same is true in television. On the Internet, this is not the case. For example, Yahoo as a media company has the largest reach of all the Internet, but accounts for 7 to 8 percent of the actual usage of the Web. There are tens of millions of Web properties in the mid-tail.”This “mid tail” is where Glam makes its home—methodically collecting blogs and other independently operated sites and merging them with the Glam publisher network, now numbering over 400 and arranged under a growing number of channels currently including fashion, beauty, shopping, celebrity style, glam living, entertainment and wellness.The point of an owned and operated site, says Arora, is to act as a gateway, or anchor, for its channel. These sites combine original content with content pulled in from the surrounding partner sites. “It’s part of a hub and spoke model for each of the clusters of channels,” he says. “That allows us to expose and support each of the publishers at the hub.”It is a model that has some very knowledgeable industry observers excited. “I have been arguing for as long as anyone would listen that the future of media is less about products and more about networks,” says media consultant Jeff Jarvis on his Buzzmachine.com blog. “It’s nice to be proven right. Glam is also an advertising network that supports the creation of content. That’s how you encourage others to produce more. So in the end, Glam is really a platform. That’s the key. Glam is a rare example of that and I say other media companies would be wise to follow suit.”Arora says Glam is in a position now where it can select partner sites for the women’s fashion and lifestyle channels from a waiting list, a process he likens to curating. “Our editors are both editors and curators. We start by making sure a site is targeted to women, then we look at editorial quality, then how we can package brand advertising with this publisher in a way that will make the ads desirable. What I don’t want to do is create a media company where users want to Tivo the ads.”Rapid GrowthArora declined to specify Glam’s revenues, which are based solely on its advertising model. However, a July 2007 story in Forbes reported revenues near $25 million for 2007. A Glam spokesperson declined to comment on that figure. Sequential quarter-to-quarter growth rates, says Arora, have ranged from a low of 40 percent to a high of 150 percent, and he expected the company to be profitable at the end of 2007. Costs, he says, are generally tied to the sales team, engineering and technology, and the revenue that is shared with the partner sites.Unique visitors have ballooned from 100,000 per month when the network launched, to 26 million currently. “And we have spent zero dollars on search or keywords to drive customers,” says Arora. If You Can’t Beat Glam, Join GlamThe company’s rapid growth as attracted its fair share of talent, and from the very sectors with which it is competing. Joe Lagani, former publisher of Conde Nast’s House & Garden, joined Glam last October. The magazine promptly closed after he left. John Trimble, who also joined in October, formerly oversaw brand advertising for Fox Interactive’s MySpace, IGN, Fox Sports, American Idol, and Scout.Additionally, Hearst and Lifetime have noticed the value of Glam’s network and signed partnership deals to syndicate content. Under the Hearst deal, Marie Claire contributes editorial content in exchange for inbound links to other Hearst magazine brands and subscription promotions. Cosmopolitan arranged to have its advertisers’ brands inserted into contextually relevant sites across Glam’s publisher network. And Lifetime, the women’s basic cable television network, partnered with Glam to create its own channel, essentially a vertical network of Web sites and blogs inside Glam’s network.MORE STARTUP STORIES:ArchitectCraftInternet EvolutionScientific AmericanWTWH Media More on this topic Rodale Partners with Glam Media Glam Gets $10M in Private Financing Glam Launches Video and Distribution Platform Are E-Media Companies—With Revenue—More Valuable? Women’s Network Eyes Men Glam Media Acquires Advertising Targeting FirmJust In Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring The Atlantic Taps Creative Leadership | People on the Move The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the MovePowered by
Derek Jeter wrapped up his baseball career in rival-city Boston this past weekend and is now setting his sights on digital publishing. The Players’ Tribune went live yesterday, Oct. 1 and now the former Yankees captain has a new role–founding publisher.Presently, the landing page only features a letter from Jeter explaining the goals and objectives for the project.”I do think fans deserve more than ‘no comments’ or ‘I don’t knows,’” Jeter writes. “Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me. I’m not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend. So I’m in the process of building a place where athletes have the tools they need to share what they really think and feel. We want to have a way to connect directly with our fans, with no filter.” The current site iteration looks similar to Medium, and the concept itself is somewhat similar, as well. That is, like Medium, The Player’s Tribune will be a user-generated storytelling platform. And given Jeter’s clout, it’s likely that high-profile athletes will make up the roster of contributors. No word from Jeter yet on the site’s monetization model. The site will be revealing more information about its plans today and hereafter.Jeter isn’t the first ex-major leaguer to launch his own media company. Lenny Dykstra tried his hand in publishing when he launched The Player’s Club magazine, which was marketed to former athletes looking to invest their career earnings. The magazine was also tied to an online investment site called Nails Investment. Things didn’t turn out too well, however.Dystra’s several investments were not successful, which led to bankruptcy and illegal activities–mostly fraud. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2012 as a result.Highly unlikely Jeter’s career in publishing will have a similar ending.
The White House is looking for a replacement for John Gibson II, the Pentagon’s first-ever chief management officer (CMO), for a “lack of performance,” according to defense officials. Gibson, whose primary duty is reforming DOD’s business operations including real property management, remains in his job for now but his responsibilities have been scaled back, reports the Wall Street Journal. He was informed by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan more than a month ago that leaders weren’t satisfied with the results of his work. Gibson’s expected departure suggests the department’s initiative to find savings within its massive bureaucracy and apply them to modernization needs — one of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ top priorities — is “foundering,” one official told the paper. “All of Mattis’ modernization ambitions lie in the money that Shanahan and Gibson were going to harvest out of the institution in savings and efficiencies,” the official said. “Without it, Mattis is truly in trouble.”DOD photo by Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Read the Rylo camera preview See It See it $60 at Best Buy I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $155 at Google Express HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Angela Lang/CNET DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. 0 Sarah Tew/CNET An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sarah Tew/CNET $999 Comments Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $6 at Tidal TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express See at Turo See It $59 at eBay Turo $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) $520 at HP $999 Read Google Home Hub review $999 JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Post a comment Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Sarah Tew/CNET Rylo Chris Monroe/CNET Tags Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Share your voice Best Buy Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Sprint Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $299 at Amazon See It Sarah Tew/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Amazon expanded its fleet to 50 aircraft. Digital First Media/Orange Count More people are using Amazon Prime than ever. The online retail giant surpassed 100 million Prime subscribers earlier this year, and Cyber Monday 2018 was the site’s biggest shopping day yet. So how will Amazon keep up with this demand? Apparently by buying more airplanes.On Friday, Amazon announced that it was expanding its fleet to 50 aircraft (up from 40). Amazon says this is to support the increasing number of Prime subscribers who expect free two-day delivery. (On top of that, Amazon customers bought 2 billion items with one-day delivery this year.)By adding 10 more aircraft, Amazon is expanding its fleet by 25 percent — a sizable increase. But this fleet is still dwarfed by other shipping companies. UPS owns 247 aircraft (and leases more during November and December), while FedEx owns over 650 (ranking it among the world’s largest airlines).If Amazon is to continue offering free-two day shipping to its millions of Prime subscribers, it better have the arsenal to back it up. Boost Mobile Read DJI Osmo Action preview See at Amazon Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Apple iPhone XS Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $210 at Best Buy Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Internet Tech Industry The Cheapskate $999 Amazon Prime Amazon,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Share your voice Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read the AirPods review Tags 7 DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Amazon