Mashable is planning to partner with Bravo, Telemundo and Facebook Live in an effort to build out both linear and digital video operations for its media and entertainment business.
At its first Digital Content Newfronts presentation today, Mashable will make its case to advertisers that a combination of programs and data-centric technology will propel a new slate of shows.
At the core of Mashable's content plans is a proprietary software called Velocity Technology Suite, a predictive analytics platform meant to inform Mashable's content team which stories will be engaging and highly shared. Velocity's dashboard compares what's going viral with historical data and trends. The content management system is used to make content visually appealing for the social web, while Velocity Kg focuses on the real-time elements.
Mashable Chief Technology Officer Robyn Peterson described the suite as "data plus creative, art plus science." In an interview, Peterson said Velocity can predict what the next big stories will be 48 to 72 hours into the future, backed with data collected from crawling more than 3 million URLs every day and consuming a half-billion URLs from the past few years. The system has also observed nearly 50 billion social shares.
"We needed to use that data in real time and have it be super helpful to content creators and the best way to show that is to test variations of content with real people sharing to real people," Peterson said.
Here's what Velocity will look like:
On the series side, in addition to 35 hours of original programming a month for Facebook Live, Mashable also will unveil a number of new shows. One weekly series, "El Pulso Live," will be made in partnership with Telemundo and star social influencer Christian Acost talking about technology trends among Latinos. A short-form web series later this year will debut in partnership with Bravo TV, while another program featuring astronaut Garrett Reisman will explain outer space in "whimsical ways."
Mashable's video ambitions have been growing for quite some time. It spent more than a year raising funds to build out its video capabilities for linear and digital operations. In January of 2015, the company raised $17 million in new funds led by Time Warner Investments. Then this past March, the company announced a new round of funding led by Turner totaling $15 million.
"The unique combination of our patented Velocity technology and the creative firepower of our Mashable Studios division gives us the ability to deliver exceptional results for our advertising partners across every platform and format," Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore said in a statement. "We're incredibly excited to now offer our brand partners the opportunity to extend the reach of their multi-platform campaigns from digital all the way through to linear television thanks to our partnership with Turner Broadcasting."
However, even as Mashable's video operation has ballooned, last month the company cut its news operation—laying off at least two dozen editors and reporters in a move that Cashmore said was meant to help shift focus to video.
"What our advertisers value most about Mashable is the same thing that our audience values: Our content," Cashmore wrote in a post on LinkedIn. He said content "has become our fastest growing revenue stream over the past year. Content is now at the core of our ad offering and we plan to double down there."