Rather than focusing on the new shows it’s producing in 2017—and there are several—Mashable is hoping to woo advertisers with its new video formats and data-heavy targeting of everyday influencers.
The company is rolling out Mashable Reels, a series for the mobile web that uses vertical video and animation to create tappable stories about tech, culture and entertainment, three areas Mashable founder and CEO Pete Cashmore said are key in reaching superfans.
To anyone who uses Snapchat, the Reels will seem similar to Mashable’s Discover channel. Mashable has been one of the most popular publishers on the platform. However, unlike Snapchat, these vertical videos can be published across 11 platforms and another, more unlikely spot—desktop screens. The first three, sponsored by McDonald’s and Sprint, feature content related to Mars, Wonder Woman and Game of Thrones.
Speaking on Thursday, during Mashable’s IAB Digital Content NewFronts presentation at the in New York, Cashmore said the company’s total monthly content views have grown by 400 percent from last year to around 2 billion.
“We found that the same people who line up for an iPhone or Snapchat Spectacles are the same people who are obsessed with Game of Thrones and Westworld and Handmaid’s Tale,” Cashmore said. “We’re not for the casually curious, and our readers and our viewers like to go deep on topics.”
Along with the introduction of Mashable Reels, the company also announced a partnership with Wattpad to develop and distribute video based on stories that originate on the self-publishing platform. Mashable is also now working with Crackle to produce video for series created by the Sony Pictures Television Networks division that will run within commercial breaks and elsewhere.
Mashable is also expanding data-driven technology it announced last year during the 2016 NewFronts season Using anonymous data analyzed by its Kilogram and Velocity products, Mashable said it’s able to identify and target users who are either more likely to influence others to view content or be influenced by it. However, instead of paying social media celebrities to push stories and videos, it’s focusing on “everyday influencers” that have more pull when it comes to driving traffic. Mashable says such “new influencers,” as it calls them, drive seven times more traffic than average users, while the “influenceables” are twice as likely to engage with brands’ messaging.)
Unlike traditional television, Cashmore said digital media allows content creators and brands to focus on making “the right show for the right person on the right device at the right time.”