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Sound Alliance rebrands as Junkee Media, says half its revenue now comes from native

Junkee MediaIndependent youth focused publisher Sound Alliance is to rebrand as Junkee Media the company has announced today, in a statement which also claims that it has reached a point where more than half its revenue is coming from native advertising.

In a statement, the publisher said the change of name more accurately reflects its focus as a new media player innovating in mobile, video, social and native content while also reflecting the success of its title Junkee, which was the Mumbrella media brand of the year in 2014.

“The change from Sound Alliance to Junkee Media comes at a defining moment in our company’s history,” says Neil Ackland, CEO.

“For the first time, more than 50 per cent of our revenue comes from native content we create in partnership with brands and almost 70 per cent of our audience comes via mobile, so Junkee Media is about positioning us as a new media company focused on the future, not the past”.

Youth focused, popular culture title Junkee launched in 2013, with a focus on mobile-first, social-driven content funded largely by native advertising and now claims an average of 1.5 million visitors a month.

Junkee Media’s other titles include LGTBI news site SameSame.com.au, music sites inthemix and FasterLouder, and travel title AWOL, created in partnership with Qantas and named the Content Marketing Strategy of the Year at the 2015 Mumbrella Awards.

“The name change is the final step in the transition from a music only publisher a decade ago to the youth-focused lifestyle publisher producing amazing content with unique attitude that we are today,” says Ackland.

“The launch of Junkee helped us to reimagine our business model, and we’re excited to extend this thinking now to reinvent our entire company. What we do is constantly changing; we no longer really sell banner ads, we help brands to tell and share their stories in whatever format that takes.”

“We fundamentally believe that brands need to stop interrupting what people are interested in, and be what people are interested in to truly engage with this millienial audience. The market needs to think beyond banner ads, pre-rolls and click throughs and look at how they can create content that people actually care about.”

Native advertising, a form of online advertising where brands create their own content that matches the form and style of the platform on which it appears, is a controversial area which Sound Alliance has led in the Australian market.

At the Publish conference in November last year, Tim Duggan content director for the publisher said native advertising was 30 per cent of their revenue and that without it they likely would have folded. 

The rebrand will also see all Junkee Media titles consolidated under one master domain at Junkee.com. “Each of our sites are very strong in their own right,” says Ackland, “but by combining them all together will give us a consolidated unique audience making it easier for brands and media agencies to reach the lucrative youth audience with scale.”

Junkee Media employs 30 staff in Sydney and Melbourne, and is currently hiring for 13 new staff across all areas of the business.

Nic Christensen 

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