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Mamamia to become ‘generalist’ site with new content on sport, finance, travel and automotive

Mamamia is set to push into sports coverage next year, with the female-focused media company also looking to tackle content across finance, travel and automotive.

The new Mamamia logo

The expansion in content strategy follows on from Mamamia moving its brands under the one banner during 2016.

Speaking at the Mamamia 360 Women upfronts event this morning, Kylie Rogers, managing director of Mamamia, said: “That was the driving force behind our one brand strategy, making Mamamia a truly generalist site, that talks to Australian women about everything she’s interested in, in the one spot – which is why when we looked at the content spaces we’d been focusing on we released there was a great opportunity in 2017.

Claire Harrison, Mamamia commercial director, added: “In 2017 what you’ll see from Mamamia is a huge investment in some fantastic new content across sport, auto, travel and finance.”

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Mamamia’s coverage of sport will not be limited to women’s sports with the publishing company to also cover men’s sports women like to watch, although they pointed to the success of female competitions in netball, Big Bash cricket and AFL as a signal women are more engaged in it.

Freedman promised: “Mamamia will be a beacon of light in sports coverage that all too often ignores women”.

Rogers said: “The breadth of coverage will be dynamic. As you’d expect we’ll cover major sports and games, profile athletes that resonate with women, and you’ll also see us tackle sports from the grassroots up, reflecting the role women play in community sport across the country.”

Mamamia’s push into sport will see the brand work with Nine’s sports reporter Sam Squiers while the push into travel has seen the company appoint Wendy Squires as travel editor.

Rogers said: “The same strategy we’re taking for sport will apply to auto, finance and travel”.

In the auto space, Mamamia will sponsor Ladies Day at Motorworld in coming weeks while in the travel space the company has partnered with Skyscanner.

On the finance topic, Feedman said: “Our financial destination will be the financial advisor women trust. We’ll be able to give her all the tools she needs to manage her money no matter what lifestyle stage she is.”

The dive into new content topics follows on from the news of Mamamia splitting into two divisions: news and entertainment.

Speaking to Mumbrella after the event, Rogers said women are wanting content across these topics.

“The main difference between us and other publications is we’re a trusted destination, women will come to us and feel comfortable about areas they want to learn about but don’t naturally know about,” she said.

“We’ve researched and we’ve asked our women do you want this content? And they’ve said absolutely. We are a truly generalist site and we need to make sure our content reflects that and it will in 2017.”

Freedman added: “It’s not always easy to get it right when talking to women and often when you’ve got men trying to work out how to talk to women – it can be a little complicated and not always successful.

“This idea of having a dedicated space for these content areas means we don’t have to cater to everyone, we can do everything through a female lens which means our content is much more tailored. ”

Podcasts

Mamamia revealed it has set itself the target of 20m downloads of podcasts on its network in 2017, after it easily passed ambitions of 4m downloads in 2016, with plans to launch a podcast network in the US attached to the company’s global brand Spring St.

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Speaking during the presentation, Rogers said: “Mamamia has always been ahead of the trends of what women want, a finger on the pulse, knowing what she wants before she knows what she wants.

“We pre-empted the growth in podcasts before women even knew they were going to fall in love with them, we are ahead of her and we are way ahead of the market. We can only see the role of podcasts growing and over the next year the Mamamia Podcast Network will deliver over 20m downloads.

Freedman added: “Something we’re already doing in Australia is creating custom podcasts for brands that live on our network and we’re also able to do this brands to use off platform. Today we announce that we’ll be doing the same in the US with the Spring St Podcast Network, America’s first podcast network for women.

“We’ll be creating podcasts for women not just on our own platforms but on a white label basis for other brands and media partners.”

Video

Mamamia has its eyes firmly planted on the video space following on from the publisher securing a Gender Matters grant from Screen Australia which will see the publisher produce video content as well as distribute other Screen Australia funded projects.

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During the presentation, Harrison said: “We’ve tripled the size of our video team and they’ve been very busy lately developing exciting new formats of short-form video designed to build a loyal following for our video content.

“Next year we will double our video inventory and generate at least 40m streams on Mamamia.”

Rogers said Mamamia is “very good at monestising” its video content.

“Of course it costs more to produce great video as opposed to podcasts but our consumers are hungry for it so we are generating the appropriate number of views and our advertisers are hungry for it,” she told Mumbrella.

“Every single video we press out on our platforms is either sponsored or has a pre-roll before it. We’re very good at monetising, commercialising and making a profit from our video content.

“We are seeing some great success.”

Freedman said the common mistake is doing what is on TV but “making it a little shorter”.

“Like people on couches having conversations, that’s not what digital content is, but like everyone it took us a little bit to work it out,” she said.

“Now we’re very clear about our video strategy and it’s working.”

Rogers rejected the suggestion that Facebook admitting it had been overestimating the length of video views on its platform by as much as 80% has tarnished online video’s reputation amongst brands.

“No impact,” she said.

Spring St and the US 

Mamamia expanded into the US in beta mode in April with Flo and Frank, rebranding the site as Spring St in September.

Spring St

Freedman said: “We also launched our new US product in beta format back in April. We’ve listened to the feedback and we went live in September as Spring St, a destination for smart women where we filter news and information to her through a positive lens.

“Since launch we have blitzed our organic traffic targets, we’ve created over 2,500 pieces of original content and we’re about to embark on a major marketing campaign to drive these numbers even higher.”

Freedman told Mumbrella the team is close to appointing an editor for Spring St, admitting they realised they needed an American in this role.

“We’re just about to announce an editor appointment over there. We realised we needed an American, we realised we have the Australian tone and sensibility covered. We’ve been able to leverage existing relationships and American expertise with that American team leader over there.

“We were bowled over, we had close to 100 applications for our editor position over there. We’ve just finished our shortlisting process and we’re about to announce.”

Restructuring

Mamamia’s upfront event comes one week after the company restructured, splitting into two divisions around news and entertainment, with Kate de Brito departing after a year and the appointment of a new commercial director.

Rogers asserted she now has the right team in place.

“To be frank, I see my job as managing director to ensure I put the right people on the right seats doing the right things and that takes time,” she said.

I started as MD last September so it’s been a year now and I can categorically tell you I have the right leadership team. I’m excited by that and that will be a consistent leadership team that will remain for many years. ”

Freedman said: “It’s digital publishing and it’s women so people do move around a lot. We employ a lot of young women and the days of working in one place, those days are gone, no one stays anywhere anymore.

“Now what we’ve done is made sure we’ve really supplemented that depth of experience and depth of leadership within our staff so when any individual leaves it’s not a problem.”

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