Say Media, a New 'Modern Media Company'


What are Jane Pratt, the celebrated editor of Jane and Sassy, and marketing guru Seth Godin (13 books and counting) doing working for the company that created those video overlay ads that YouTube eventually co-opted?

In fact, Pratt, Godin, the new media professor Clay Shirky and several other respected media authorities have been recruited to help forge a new identity for Say Media—the product of a merger between ad network VideoEgg (which sparred with YouTube back in 2007) and the blog-hosting company Six Apart. Last week, Pratt and company were introduced as headliners of the Say 100, a list of influential voices in 10 content verticals, including food, entertainment, style and technology.

The Say 100 marks the culmination of an unusual transformation for VideoEgg, which raised eyebrows last September when it acquired Six Apart, then ditched both brands and announced its intentions to become more of a true media company. And while an ad network plus a tool vendor doesn’t exactly seem to equal the next Yahoo, that’s what president Troy Young saw.

“We're taking the step to become a modern media company,” said Young. “While we still believe in networks, we needed exclusive relationships. We had a differentiation imperative.”

Six Apart gave Young and his team exclusive access to bloggers like’s Jeff Katz, who is part of the Say 100. But to take the list to another level they’ve recruited the likes of Pratt and Godin, tasking them with identifying influential Web voices.

The plan going forward is to launch new Say 100 content sites and to create custom marketing programs, but not banner campaigns. “This industry needs to evolve brand advertising. It’s not good at making you feel things right now,” said Andrew Anker, Say’s svp, corporate development. “You'll see us execute sophisticated brand experiences.”

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