The Guide to Publisher Branded Content Studios

As publishers grapple with ad fraud, bots, ad blockers, and more, diversifying revenue streams has never been more important. And advertisers are hungry for new opportunities to reach audiences. Perhaps the biggest opportunity for publishers — and the advertisers they serve — has been the advent of branded content. Whereas publishers got their feet wet by accepting and then commissioning textual articles from advertisers, there is now an arms race to provide the best client service and the most bells and whistles to the world’s largest advertisers. We reached out to dozens of publishers with a number of questions about their offerings. Below you will find their answers (some edited for clarity). In addition, we’ve listed other publishers and what we know about their offerings.

Click here to jump ahead to a particular brand


Atlantic Media| Complex Media| Hearst | IDG | Little Things| New York Media | New York Times


Atlantic Media

Atlantic Media has two content studios: Atlantic Media Strategies, which creates content that is published across the web, and Re:Think, an in-house creative group that creates content that runs on Atlantic properties. The answers below pertain to Atlantic Media Strategies.



Name
Atlantic Media Strategies (AMS) helps organizations advance ideas that move the world. Part creative agency and part consulting firm, we create content strategies and large-scale content campaigns that extend an organization’s mission across the web.

Head of Studio

Jean Ellen Cowgill

Contact

Kristin Hume, [email protected]

Employees

30+


Founded

2012

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

Types of Content Created

Articles/text

Short-form video

Long-form video

Audio (e.g. podcasts)

Social Media

How is the content promoted?

We promote through social media organically and through paid social media

Do you also allow brands to run native ads with content not created by your studio?

No


Sample Clients

American Cancer Society, Truth Initiative, Allstate, 1776, and Marketplace


Complex


Name

Complex Studios

Formed

2013

Head of studio

Julia Rodack; Director, Branded Content

Serving the following publications

Complex and Complex Media Network

Contact

None given

Number of employees

20-29

Do editorial employees contribute?

Yes

Types of content produced

Complex provides full-service capabilities that include video, text-based content, social programs, and influencer campaigns.

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

How is the content promoted?

Brands handle social themselves

We promote through social media organically

We promote through paid social media

We include in newsletters

Do you also allow brands to run native ads with content not created by your studio?

No

Sample Clients

Pepsi, Intel, Google, Verizon, Powerade, Nike

Examples here, here, here, and here 

Hearst Corporation




Name

Unnamed

Formed

2014

Head of studio

Laura Kalehoff, Director, Branded Content Studio

Contact

Todd Haskell, SVP/Chief Revenue Officer, Hearst Magazines Digital Media

[email protected]

Serving the following publications

Cosmopolitan.com, Elle.com, HarpersBazaar.com, MarieClaire.com, Esquire.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, HouseBeautiful.com, Delish.com, and others

Employees

10-19

Do editorial employees contribute?

Yes

Types of Content Created

As part of larger advertising/media engagements, Hearst Magazine Digital Media creates articles, video, galleries and listicles for distribution on Hearst platforms (owned, as well as social).  

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

How is the content promoted?

We promote through social media organically

We promote through paid social media

We include in newsletters

We distribute branded content via our editorial feeds on-site.

Do you also allow brands to run native ads with content not created by your studio?

No

Sample Clients

None supplied


IDG



Name of company
IDG Content Marketing Practice

Head(s) of studio
Jason Tenenbown, IDG VP Global Client Solutions & Strategy and
Jim McGinty, IDG Senior Director

Serving the following publications
IDG Owned & Operated publications, including: CIO, Computerworld, PCWorld, and Macworld. (See all IDG properties here:
http://idg.me/1NZuOgq).

Contact Information
[email protected]

Employees
30+

Founded
IDG has been producing branded and custom content since the 1990s. We formalized the practice in 2015.

Capabilities
IDG offers a global Content-as-a-Service business providing clients with expert content strategy development, content architecture modeling and private label content creation services (visual content, articles, social content/blogs, white papers, etc.) We have a global resource infrastructure with expertise in B2B and B2C content, design, research, data analytics/intelligence and content syndication/amplification. IDG has nearly 50 years of content and audience engagement expertise, data intelligence and our exclusive influencer network. Our capabilities are uniquely targeted to tech-focused audiences. Our ability to scale globally provides content messaging and consistent quality, while providing local relevance into everything we do.

Type of content created

Articles/text

Short-form video

Long-form video

Audio (e.g. podcasts)

Social Media

Blogs

Primary research

Reviews

Visual content

Motion graphics

Case studies

Quizzes

Calculators

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

How is the content promoted?

Brands handle social themselves

We promote through social media organically

We promote through paid social media

We include in newsletters

Native advertising

Advertising on IDG properties, IDG TechNetwork, IDG Social Channels

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?
Yes

Sample Clients
None supplied

LittleThings

Name
LittleThings Studios


Formed
We began testing in September 2015 in anticipation of rolling out our Direct Sales initiatives in the spring of 2016.


Head of Studio

Maia McCann, Editor-in-Chief, LittleThings

Contact

[email protected]


Employees

30+

Do editorial employees contribute?

Yes. In the interest of authenticity and transparency with our core audience, we have the same team overseeing content for both branded and editorial, which all rolls out of LittleThings Studios

Types of content produced

LittleThings and our brand partners develop themed custom content designed to build awareness, reinforce brand benefits, and drive meaningful activations.

Articles/text

Short-form video

Long-form video

Social Media

Other: Facebook Live; Facebook Native; Facebook Instant Articles; Original Illustrations; Original Photography; and Recipes Cards

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

How is the content promoted?

We promote through social media organically

We promote through paid social media

We include in newsletters

Editorial distribution


Do you also allow brands to run native ads with content not created by your studio?

Yes


Sample Clients

eBay, AvoDerm, Soma, Freshpet, PrideBites, Ford


New York Media



Name

Unnamed

Formed

2014

Head of studio

Justin Montanino, Senior Director of Branded Content

Serving the following publications

New York Magazine (incl. nymag.com), Vulture, The Cut, Science of Us, Grub Street, Select All

Contact

Justin Montanino, [email protected]

Number of employees

10-19

Do editorial employees contribute?

No

Types of content produced

Long-form and short-form posts

High-end photography and video

Interactives

Influencer casting

Event integrations and experiential activations

As well as the ability to dream up new capabilities not already mentioned here.

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

How is the content promoted?

We promote through social media organically

We promote through paid social media

We include in newsletters

Traffic drivers on our network of sites

Do you also allow brands to run native ads with content not created by your studio?

Yes

Sample Clients

HBO

Netflix

IBM

Tiffany & Co.

Guinness

Sephora

Bose

Bravo

Versace

More here

The New York Times Company

Name

T Brand Studio

Formed

1/14

Head of studio

Sebastian Tomich

Serving the following publications

The New York Times

Contact

[email protected]

Number of employees

30+

Do editorial employees contribute?

No

Types of content produced

Reported articles

Documentary video and photography

Graphic and interactive design

In-house development

White label content consulting and production

Social media strategy and amplification

Can clients run the content on external sites as well as yours?

Yes

How is the content promoted?

We promote through on site drivers and paid social media

Do you also allow brands to run native ads with content not created by your studio?

Yes

Sample Clients

Visit Norway

Goldman Sachs

Cole Haan

Vanguard

More here

Other Branded Content Studios (these did not respond to inquiries by press time)

BBC
BBC Storyworks

Bloomberg
Kinection

Business Insider
BI Studios

BuzzFeed
Unnamed


Conde Nast
23 Stories By Conde Nast

Gawker
[email protected]

Guardian
Guardian Labs

Mashable
Unnamed

Mic
Unnamed

Total
0
Shares
Related Posts