15 July 2022 |

A New Framework for a Media Company

By Adam Ryan

Welcome to the 569 media operators who have joined Perpetual since the last send. Every week I try my best to write the best content that can help media operators understand their business. 

If you are part of a media business that monetizes with advertising, go check out the question I have at the bottom of this email. 

The open rate for the last newsletter was 42% UOR. The CTR was 3%. The top clicked links were the article about how Spotify’s bet on podcasting has flopped thus far, this book that helped us create our management structure for Workweek (this is the 4th send in a row it’s on the list), and the #paid ad

Let’s dive in.

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In a Meme

Climate Media: Bleacher Report Execs Launch a Climate Media Company… With a Twist

The Cool Down was announced this past week as the latest climate media company to launch.  This follows the trend in launching climate-focused publications and content (Workweek launched Keep Cool in January), but The Cool Down is taking a unique approach to its vision.

One, they raised $15.75M pre-launch. For a niche media co that is a substantial amount of capital and compared to the rest of their competitors quite a bit above the average.

Why so much scrill?

The Cool Down has no interest in running advertisements or even doing the debate about subscriptions. The way it will monetize? A marketplace selling climate-friendly products.

Yeah, that’s right. They’re trying to use their climate content and journalist as a top of funnel to ultimately drive to a marketplace that sells everything from deodorant to induction stoves to heat pumps. 

In the meantime, they’re going to use affiliate links in their content to see what products their audience likes the most to inform their decision about the marketplace.

This playbook sticks out for two reasons:

  1. You have the former CEO of a traditional media company (Bleacher Report) saying straight up he doesn’t want to go into that business model any more, but he is going to use the same social playbook to build an audience. Per usual, this lines up exactly to this tweet by Jarrod Dicker this week. Those who know how to grow an audience, can dominate on the internet.
  2. To that point, marketplace businesses are highly valuable in public markets. Specially when you compare them to advertising-based media companies. Marketplaces are notoriously difficult to build because you need success on the supply and demand side. If The Cool Down has a huge audience of folks interested in climate-friendly products then the supply side is done and the demand side will follow. High chance of success.

The company raised, according to Pitchbook, at $15.75M valuation. That’s fairly rich in the media world (most I see are closer to $7-8M), but for a marketplace business, it’s not too crazy. Something good to pay attention to is how big of an audience can $5M buy? Will their TikTok have millions of followers? What value is that? Only time will tell. 

Either way, this framework is creating a new type of media company. There are media operators who amazing at growing audiences and capturing attention, but now their monetizing with business models that capture much more market value than advertising could ever do. 

Traditionalists would say it blends the line of church and state. Others may say it’s crazy to think you can run a content business and a marketplace at the same time.

I say, if the content is great and the operators execute, then The Cool Down will be a case study we look at in the future.

Public Markets: A New Endeavor

By Alan Soclof

experiences are remarkably valuable. When I look at the media sector in the public markets, I often think about who owns the best assets & can I get a piece of them at the right prices. 

One of the more interesting entertainment conglomerates on the market that underratedly own some incredible assets in this space is Endeavor Group Holdings. 

Endeavor has 3 main business segments: 

  1. Owned Sports Properties
  2. Events, Experiences, and Rights
  3. Representation

Owned Sports Properties

Here is a list of some of the assets that Endeavor owns in the sports world:

  • MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
  • UFC  (Ultimate Fighting Championship)
  • PBR (Professional Bull Riding)
  • Euroleague (European Professional Basketball)

This silo of business was responsible for $1.1B in revenue in 2021 & $537M in adj. EBITDA (profit) representing 16% & 17% YoY growth in each metric respectively. 

Specifically, the UFC is a rocketship signing new deals with DraftKings, Crypto.com, Monster, growing their social media presence by 30% YoY to over 188M followers across platforms, and selling out all of their PPV events. 

Events, Experiences, and Rights

This component of Endeavor’s business is responsible for over 800 owned & operated events in 25 countries that include events like New York Fashion Week, the Miami & Madrid Open, and many more. 

Additionally, the company throws premium experiences for the NFL, PGA Tour, NCAA, and recently secured exclusive hospitality rights for future olympic games. 

Fueled by the return of live events as well as high consumer demand, Events, Experiences, and Rights posted $2B in revenue & $215M in adj. EBITDA representing a 28% & 264% YoY increase. 

Representation

Endeavor provides services for over 7,000 talent & brand clients across entertainment, sports, and fashion. Some of the company’s clients include Halle Berry, Miley Cyrus, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Serena Williams, and many other A-List celebs. 

Here are some other notable stats about Endeavor Representation:

  • 7/10 top box office hits featured their clients
  • 200 podcast deals closed  
  • Clients led Grammy counts for past 4 years
  • 37K tour dates booked annually (pre-Covid)

This segment of the business earned $2B in revenue & $383M in adj. EBITDA representing 100% & 81% growth YoY respectively. Overall, did over $5B in revenue & over $1B in adj. EBITDA in 2021.  

Takeaway

As you can see, Endeavor has exposure to every key component of media and this is integral to all of us. Why? 

Because every 90 days management shares updates on the business, and more importantly, updates on the industry as a whole. 

In incredibly unique economic times, Endeavor allows us to hear first hand what demand is looking like for in person events, what the ad market looks like, is their serious demand for premium concerts, what is consumer spend looking like, and all the other macro conditions that affect the media industry. The next update will be on the three unique strategies that HBO Max is using to bring value to advertisers & improve experiences for consumers. Get pumped!

Jobs

Here are some jobs that I’m curating for the media industry. If you’re looking to hire, use this link to submit your role to be featured. 

Junior Account Manager @ Workweek

We’re looking for someone who loves to craft stories based on data, organized and never misses a deadline, and willing to learn fast. If this is you or know someone who’d be great, reply back!

Product Manager @ beehiiv

If you’re an experienced product manager, this is a great opportunity to join the rocket ship.

Executive Editor @ Insider, Inc

Insider is looking for a visionary Executive Editor to lead the more than 100 journalists across our bureaus all across the world. 

Click here to view more jobs

Other Stuff I Like

  • My wife. It’s her birthday and I’m grateful for her. Even when she trollsme on Twitter. 🙂 
  • Binging shows. Loot on Apple+ is solid, Murders in the Building on Hulu is hilarious, and Girl in the Picture is a wild shocking story.
  • Other media writers. Sara Fischer, Toolkit (Shareen and Jack), Simon OwensBrian Morrissey, and Jacob Donnelly are all killing it. 
  • Peer to peer support. Who is struggling with selling ads right now?
  • Between the economy and summer break it’s a fight out there. Let me know if this is you and I’m going to put something together.

Thanks for the read! Let me know what you thought by replying back to this email. See you in your inbox every Monday and Thursday.

— Adam