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‘Mummy blogs are almost over’: Mamamia scraps network approach and launches Instagram-style app and consultancy business

Mamamia is set to scrap its Women’s Network model and unify all of its brands with its main site acting as an aggregator, as founder Mia Freedman proclaims “mummy blogs are almost over”.

Mamamia

The shift comes as the publishing company looks to launch an ‘Instagram-style’ app with user generated video, open its own consultancy business and grow its podcast network.

Freedman, content director of MWN, told the audience at the network’s upfront event women are “moving away from niche sites”, with the company looking to unify its Mamamia Women’s Network on one site.

“This is really important and a big shift. We know she’s busy, she doesn’t have time to visit lots of different homepages or blogs or even necessarily one every day,” Freedman said.

“She doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a mum or as anything else. We’ve really seen the twilight year of mummy blogs, mummy blogs are almost over. In fact, personal blogs in general have collapsed in engagement this year.”

Freedman

Freedman: ‘mummy blogs are almost over’

In light of this shift away from niche audiences, head of editorial strategy Kate Spies revealed all content produced by MWN would be collected and housed on the Mamamia website.

“In 2016 all the content MWN produces will be collected and housed in one place before it is pushed out far and wide across multiple channels and platforms and that one place is Mamamia,” Spies said.

“Mamamia has always been our hero brand. Reshaping our websites as a single brand, a one stop shop for women, will see content produced by The Glow, Debrief Daily and The Motherish all feeding seamlessly into the mothership Mamamia.

“In practical terms, this means more brilliant content for Mamamia’s audience and more talented storytellers to craft it for them each and every day.”

Kylie RogersSpeaking to Mumbrella after the event, managing director Kylie Rogers said the change would not see the closure of the other MWN brands.

“The content will be all on the Mamamia website. They absolutely still remain and they exist within Mamamia,” she said.

“The Mamamia brand has a true affinity with our audience and we thought it would be a great idea to have an aggregator and have Mamamia as the lead and have all the other brands sitting in that.

“They are after a one stop shop or a destination where they can get all of their content.

“It goes back to how and why Mia launched her own personal blog because she felt women weren’t one dimensional. That they were interested in various topics from politics to pelvic floor and they don’t want to go to various sites to get different topics, they want to go to one.”

Rogers said advertisers can still segment to each of the separate brand audiences.

“They will be able to buy space within Mamamia that is dedicated to a Glow audience or a Debrief audience or a Motherish audience,” she said.

The shift to housing everything under one brand, including video content and podcasts, comes as Mamamia invests into video content and its podcast network.

MWN is launching the MM Video App which allows its contributors and audience to create their own video and audio content that is shared across the app and website.

“We will be launching an MM app which allows our influencers and our audience to be part of the video conversation with Mamamia. We have this brilliant technology that allows our influencers and audience to create video, to edit it within the app and send it direct to the app and our site. Our editor-in-chief is selecting what she likes and putting it on the site,” Rogers explained.

“It will look and feel similar to an Instagram. Our audience is very quickly moving to the video medium and they want to tell their own stories and be part of the MM community.”

Rogers said any audience created videos that get run on the site will be credited, but they will be unpaid.

“Citizen journalism is another term you can use where we allow our audience to be part of that conversation and they will always be credited for that content,” she said.

“This isn’t about getting free content to put on the site, it’s about allowing them to create a conversation and be part of it with our MM influencers. It’s user-generated content.”

MWN is still finalising the commercial model for the app.

“We won’t be launching this for a couple more months yet,” Rogers said.

Podcasting will also be a substantial push with Mamamia looking to quadruple its 1m downloads to 4m next year as it grows the network to 16 shows.

“It was last year when we realised there’s a gap – women want great audio content. We felt there was a need here in the Australian market and we’re going to fill it. We have reached 1m downloads at ease and it’s a really exciting opportunity,” Rogers said.

MWN also announced the launch of its own “bespoke women’s consultancy business” Broad Media.

Danika Johnston, MWN’s national sales manager, told the upfront audience: “Broad Media will be a unique communications consultancy working with clients and marketers to effectively connect brands with female customers.Broad Media

“Broad Media will be a media agnostic consultancy with an impressive resume of staff including strategists, mobile specialists, video and content specialists, researchers, an events team and a creative unit.”

MWN will announce the key partners for Broad Media in the “coming weeks”.

Flow & FrankThe publishing company announced its US site, which will be named Flo and Frank and led by Sarah Bryden-Brown, will have no traditional display ads, a model pioneered by Buzzfeed.

“It’s a nod to the future of digital advertising,” Rogers said. “Display will always play a role but certainly the advertising industry is moving to be very content led. So you will have pre-roll and you will have trans-media story telling which will be editorial and brand funded.”

Rogers said MWN isn’t in the position to roll out a similar strategy locally.

“The onset of ad-blocking, everyone’s looking at whether there’s room for the standard display ad. Luckily we’re a business built on native content, so we’re not staring down the barrel of losing $50m in display inventory,” she said.

The US site Flo and Frank will launch in February.

The upfront presentation also saw MWN reaffirm its position on click bait, distancing themselves from their past click bait style, saying it was dead.

“Clickbait is very suggestive. One person’s click bait is another person’s authentic headline. We have absolutely moved forward with a clear policy that we reflect the genuine content of the article whether that’s on the site or on social,” Rogers said.

 Miranda Ward
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