Corner Office:: Say Media CEO Matt Sanchez on Building A Robust Digital Infrastructure
What does Say Media bring to the table when partnering with a publisher?
I think what's really interesting about the media business -- particularly in digital -- is that we create lifestyle content around the things we're passionate about. And there are all these great independent publications being created because people have a real passion for a certain topic. [Our work] is really about bringing to life the voice of a small collection of individuals that really care deeply about a topic, and then building a community around that. And that's a very personal thing.
There are parts of the media business that are about scale, and those include the technology challenges of building a website, making sure it works on mobile, understanding your Twitter strategy -- all the pieces that are actually true of every publication. And so what we were finding was that Say had an opportunity to solve some of the scale challenges of media for a whole set of independent publishers, whether those were technology challenges, or marketing, or back office, or whatever. And then that would allow these publishers to really create the concept they loved to create, and to do what it is they're passionate about.
Can you explain how Say Media transformed from a digital advertising network into a digital magazine publisher?
The company is almost 10 years old and we actually started by trying to solve the publishing problem around video. This was before YouTube ever existed, and we thought there was a big opportunity in consumers being able to share their video content online. So we built out a platform that made it easy for services that were already in existence and had large audiences -- a blogging platform, or a social network, or a listing site like eBay -- to embed video really easily into those services.
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Dan Eldridge is a journalist and guidebook author based in Philadelphia's historic Old City district, where he and his partner own and operate Kaya Aerial Yoga, the city's only aerial yoga studio. A longtime cultural reporter, Eldridge also writes about small business and entrepreneurship, travel, and the publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.