Wetpaint CEO Ben Elowitz on the Future of Digital Media
I’d be remiss if I didn’t post here about some big news for my company Wetpaint. This month, we announced that we’ve shared our secret sauce for massive audience growth with a key partner: Hubert Burda Media. Burda is a global media company with 300+ digital and offline properties, and organizer of the DLD conferences. But even more importantly, they have impressed me as the most aggressive of the multibillion-dollar media companies when it comes to digitizing their business to its full potential. And so it is only fitting that they will be the first media company to use the Wetpaint social distribution platform to drive audience growth for their portfolio of brands.
On the inside, Wetpaint has always been a technology platform company. But for the past two years our more public face has been the celebrity and entertainment news property Wetpaint Entertainment. We launched this property as a public lab experiment – we wanted to prove to the world that social media, when combined with smart distribution technology, could drive huge audience growth. Our experiment turned out to be a wild success: today Wetpaint Entertainment brings in almost as much traffic from Facebook and Twitter as The New York Times and The Washington Post combined. With social traffic as our cornerstone, we built an audience of more than 12 million unique visitors in two years.
And the secret to our record-setting growth has been a relentless focus on using data to understand our audience. We learn what works and institutionalize it in a playbook that our software helps us use and improve every day.
Our partnership with Burda Media is a great opportunity for both of our teams: we get the chance to gain new insights from new audiences, and Burda Media will be able to take their digital audience building and monetization to a whole new level by bringing game-changing social distribution to their outstanding content.
I’m beyond excited to use our secret sauce on new properties and in new countries. Prost!