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Pedestrian Group plans to spread ‘Pedestrian spice’ across its portfolio following Allure merger

The alignment between Pedestrian TV and former Allure Media properties – Business Insider, Pop Sugar, Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker – is set to become stronger, with the group preparing to show its reach across all its platforms on Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR) in August for the first time.

CEO of the group Matt Rowley also flagged increasing synergies across the brands, using the “Pedestrian spice”, but ruled out actually merging the platforms.

Pedestrian’s flavour is spreading

Previously the results posted on the DCR have been for the Pedestrian TV platform alone and haven’t included the five additional Allure properties.

The new data will be combined with the “unfiltered creativity” that comes from the Pedestrian commercial team, said Rowley, to create a unique branding platform that will provide opportunities for advertisers to reach a number of different audiences on a platform they engage with and for topics they’re passionate about.

“We like to call it the Pedestrian spice,” says Rowley, about the creative opportunities available to brands that have been polished under the banner of Pedestrian TV and can now be rolled out across the group.

“There’s fearless, unfiltered creativity we can offer brands, and now we’ll be able to do that across the multiple verticals.”

But Rowley is quick to confirm there won’t be any attempts to combine the titles or merge the platforms, instead he says the focus is on growth and expanding the capabilities of these platforms.

And now, with the addition of American Express Openair Cinemas, the Pedestrian Group has seven brands sitting under it, which Rowley believes makes the publisher a very compelling commercial partner in the youth publishing space.

Rowley took the reins in April

But, the issue up until this point, is that the youth publishing space has been lumped under that banner without any nuance for the different audiences and readers involved in it, said Rowley. That’s something Pedestrian is looking to fix with research which will be released at its upfronts later this year, when the findings from a survey of 6,000 readers will be revealed, showing just what the readers from each vertical care about.

Rowley took the reins as CEO of the platform in April when co-founders Chris Wirasinha and Oscar Martin exited the business, five years after Nine first bought a 60% stake in the publisher. Allure Media CEO Jason Scott left the picture as Pedestrian and Allure merged, shortly after the Nine and Fairfax merger in 2018.

Brian Florido was promoted from group commercial director to become the group’s first managing director in January 2019, at the same time Pedestrian’s former head of editorial, Vanessa Lawrence, returned to the business as publisher. Florido has since left the business to become the managing director Val Morgan Digital.

Some of the data that came out of the reader survey was especially surprising, Rowley said, with Business Insider readers showing significant interest in festivals, travel and pill testing – topics which would usually be associated with Pedestrian TV. This has led to the title testing the waters slightly with riskier executions, said Rowley, including a look at the business of marijuana in the coming weeks, and a series on the biggest business failures in Australia.

Rowley said the team is looking forward to seeing the results from the August DCR in the coming weeks, and being able to use the figures to properly show advertisers the strength of youth publishing. He’s also confident the figures will begin to show the growth of the group as a whole, and the power of the seven brands under the Pedestrian umbrella.

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