The relaunch signals an investment in the network’s brand and content production. Three new sites launched this fall: Autos101, Vacation101 and Parenting101.
“We like to find a niche with highly interested readers, such as auto fans and new parents, and a chance to deliver a new type of content that also makes business sense,” Jessica Patel, executive director of content at 101 Network, told Publishers Daily. Patel joined the 101 Network following stints as deputy editor at T Brand Studio at The New York Times and Bankrate.com.
Joining Patel at the 101 Network is new CEO Mike Dodge, who will be responsible for all current and future brands as the company’s portfolio expands. Dodge brings with him a wealth of experience growing digital media brands at Evolve Media, where he served as COO for nine years. Dodge also served as CEO of Blackbelt TV and theAudience, a William Morris Endeavor-backed social-media agency.
The team at the 101 Network will use a combination of data analysis and business development research to understand how the ad market, content market and general interest in categories are trending.
The relaunch aso marks an expansion and update to the platform, making it mobile-first with a colorful design and cleaner layouts. The layout allows readers to move through articles more seamlessly, providing better exposure for advertisers. A new framework technology stack helps with latency and load times for ads and articles, said Patel.
The 101 Network features all programmatic and digital advertising. However, the redesign will allow it to move into more direct sales in Q1 of next year. “We are so focused on niche content that we are able to ensure well-targeted advertising,” said Patel.
AI and machine learning also play an important part in the 101 Network’s success.
AI-driven technology tracks how readers are scrolling, where they are at on the page or within a story and when they drop off, shared Patel. This data is then aligned with the 101 Network’s reader demographics, including who is reading the story and which areas are more engaging than others, allowing the team to retarget those stories to the demographic they best resonate with.
Since launching its Living101 title in September, the company reports 2.7 million users on that site with an average engagement of four minutes and 48 seconds.
The 101 Network claims more than 45 million monthly readers total.