Publishers are used to spending an inordinate amount of energy trying to attract media buyers, but now they’re also playing the role themselves.
Publishers like Vox Media, BuzzFeed and Complex all have in-house ad-buying capability, part of a shift by publishers in how they think of audience development. Gone is the “build it and they will come” ethos, Instead, publishers are resorting to the brass tacks of building audiences through a variety of methods, including paying for distribution of content.
“Increasingly, it’s something clients are asking for,” Hayley Romer, vp and publisher of The Atlantic, said of paid amplification for native ads. The Atlantic uses SimpleReach and hired Sam Rosen from DigitasLBi a year ago as vp, marketing to help in that effort.
Vox Media, for its part, is looking for a head of paid media strategy. The person hired will help the publisher find look-alike audiences for advertisers beyond its family of sites, said Jonathan Hunt, Vox Media’s head of marketing. Vox Media is looking for someone with at least five years of experience in buying and planning, with a strong understanding of emerging platforms, according to a job description.