CafeMedia Is Taking On ‘the BuzzFeeds and the Voxes’ With Its Mobile-First Video Push

Launches new digital production studio

After launching two new properties in the past year, Vivala and Revelist, CafeMedia is looking to challenge some of the bigger players in the digital media space.

"We see ourselves in that group with the BuzzFeeds and the Voxes," said Andrew Shue, the former Melrose Place actor and co-founder of CafeMedia.

To that end, CafeMedia is forging ahead with an ambitious push into mobile-first video, launching a full-service premium digital video production studio that will house all four of its brands—including CafeMom and MamásLatinas—which currently create around 250 videos every month.

"Most of the video we had been doing was built around brands," Shue said. In fact, as much as 70 percent of the output was branded content a few years ago. These days, it's about 30 percent, including recent deals with Walmart, Target and P&G. "The big shift with the launch of Revelist and Vivala and the move to social-mobile video has caused us to shift that percentage towards the user," Shue said.

CafeMedia tapped CNN veteran Bibi Nuñez to lead video strategy for all brands as executive producer of video and photo.

As Mary Meeker revealed last week in her annual Internet Trends report, the growth of mobile ad spending continues to outpace desktop. However, Meeker's report also came with a harrowing statistic for publishers about the rise of ad blockers: They have roughly 420 million mobile users globally.

"[Advertisers] are quite honestly freaking out about how they're going to cut through and get into that space," said Shue. "We are getting more and more requests to do social video content that weaves the brand in in a subtle way."

The move to more consumer-facing content has been paying off, as CafeMedia's four brands garnered about 70 million video views in April. Revelist, which caters to millennial women, launched in February with a video-first focus. The outlet has already put out about 230 videos on Facebook alone, with topics ranging from breaking down plus-size stereotypes to recreating Lady Gaga's Super Bowl eye make-up to Esther the Wonder Pig, and has weekly shows on Snapchat with titles like "Motivation Monday," "Women Crushin' It Wednesdays" and "BaeWatch."

In its first three months, Revelist has amassed 76 million video views.

"This is the way you're going to operate in today's content world," Shue said. "Video needs to be leading your content efforts if you're going to win mobile."