by Hibben Silvo, Editor
This month we are featuring not one but three new publishers, Deal Breaker, Above the Law, and Fashionista, all published by Breaking Media. The three sites provide valuable and interesting content to visitors with an enthusiasm for business, law, and fashion. Breaking Media’s Publisher, David Minkin, gave us some insight into the three sites. Check out his answers to our questions below:
David Minkin’s Bio: After graduating from Brown University I went to work at Forbes.com in ad operations. From there I went to CFO.com where I managed business operations then later east coast ad sales. From there I proceeded to run online sales at Institutional Investor and then finally left there after co-finding Dead Horse Media (later known as Breaking Media).
Adcision: Why did you launch Deal Breaker, Fashionista and Above the Law and what need has it fulfilled?
David: Breaking Media has launched and operates three sites including DealBreaker.com (launched 3/06), AboveTheLaw.com (launched 8/06) and Fashionista.com (launched 1/07). DealBreaker launched with a mandate to bring a new edge and independent voice to financial news with content aimed specifically to professionals in the finance industry. The content is meant to be insightful, groundbreaking, funny and to challenge the conventional wisdom. After seeing such success with DealBreaker we later rolled out AboveTheLaw, which caters to the legal industry. Later we launched Fashionista.com, which isn’t quite as industry focused, but is still very insidery.
Adcision: Which three brands are you the most proud to have run on your site?
David: Target, Bloomberg, British Airways
Adcision: If you could only have one advertiser on your site, which would it be?
David: Target – I love them. Beautiful creative and the team at their agency is a pleasure to work with.
Adcision: Give me an example of something your readers discovered on your site that they probably wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
David: In terms of DealBreaker and AboveTheLaw we routinely scoop other sources with bonus compensation data (which is obviously very important to our audience). And on Fashionista we announced Arlenis Sosa as the new face of Lancome literally weeks before any other source. We’re good with getting scoops.
Adcision: Please describe a typical visitor to your site — what he/she is like, what motivates them to visit, what engages them while they are there.
David: Of course the typical reader depends on the site. With regards to DealBreaker and AboveTheLaw the average reader is 30, extremely affluent and very well educated and most likely male (this is especially true on DealBreaker). Fashionista readers tend to be around 25 years old, relatively affluent and very cosmopolitan. Across all three sites about 40% of our readership is in New York.
Adcision: What do you wish more people knew about your “publication”?
David: The Breaking Media sites are the go-to destination to reach a young, upscale audience of professionals in major cosmopolitan areas. Very few sites have such a high concentration of these influential players. I want brands to know that we excel at engaging this audience and we do it successfully day in and day out.
Adcision: Can you namedrop… any well-known persons engaged with your site?
David: We once received a letter from Warren Buffet’s assistant disputing an argument we put forward on DealBreaker.com.
Adcision: What is the best source of traffic to your website?
David: Google. But we’re regularly linked to by all major publications that cover fashion, law or finance.
Adcision: How do you get your content?
David: We have an incredible team of editors who are very networked within their respective industries. A lot of our larger scoops come from tips sent in by our readers which are then corroborated by the editors.
Adcision: What’s the best article (or feature) that you have ever run on your site … and why do you think it was so popular (Please include a URL if possible)?
David: DealBreaker’s http://www.dealbreaker.com/2008/10/dear-investor.php post is great because it demonstrates the type of information that many financial institutions wish was kept hidden. In many ways it’s this sneakiness among institutions that led to the financial mess we’re currently in. One of the goals of DealBreaker is to shine a light on the darker corners of finance.
And of course I love that we broke the “Arlenis Sosa as face of Lancome” news on Fashionista.
Adcision: Please share some demographic information about your audience (i.e. average home value, average HHI, male/female ratio, etc.)
DealBreaker readers: 89% male, median age 30, $246k average HHI
AboveTheLaw readers: 64% male, median age 30, $143k average HHI
Fashionista readers: 94% female, median age 26, $71k average HHI
Adcision: What is the most vexing issue facing your business right now?
David: Although we reach a very valuable audience because our readership is so niche we’re too small to be listed in @plan and thus we miss out on many RFPs from the big agencies. Also, some of the more old school brands still think “blog” means a guy sitting in his pajamas writing in his mother’s basement. These brands don’t realize that Breaking Media has 10 full-time employees on staff and is funded by a team of investors.
Adcision: Other than your own, what are some favorite luxury oriented sites you like?
David: These sites aren’t explicitly focused on luxury but I enjoy theatlantic.com and nymag.com
Adcision: What is your definition of luxury?
David: Something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort. That also happens to be the American Heritage Dictionary’s definition.
Adcision: Where do you see the industry headed?
David: I think online publishing in general will have some interesting growing pains as display advertising (in the form of standard banner units) because less valuable to advertisers. Where that leads I’m not sure…
Adcision: What are your goals for 2008?
David: To make our sites the go-to destination for people wanting the inside scoop on the finance, legal and fashion industries.
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