Roughly a year ago, CPXi began building out two consumer-facing sites: PressRoomVIP for celebrity culture, and the music-oriented portal Hip Hop My Way.
These two sites formed the foundation of CPXi’s Consumed Media publishing division, which launched in late September. What’s unusual is that CPXi, which used to be the ad network CPX Interactive, doesn’t have roots as a publisher.
But over the past two to three years, the company has transformed itself.
“CPXi’s pivot was taking the pieces of the ad network and diversifying its various holdings into a media company,” said CEO Mike Seiman. “We have all these assets. What don’t we have? We don’t have a content creation division. When we pivoted, we hired people to create content, build a brand, drive traffic to that brand, build an audience and sell it.”
Beyond CPXi’s new publisher line of business, it offers agency-type services via the upcoming innovation lab Hatched.at as well as CCDR Media for direct-response campaign execution.
It also manages programmatic media via its AppNexus-powered exchange bRealTime and last year acquired AdReady so it could supply a self-serve ad platform and dynamic creative tools.
The development of the Consumed Media publishing division, Seiman said, is a natural evolution. He pointed to traditional content networks like Fox, TNT, AMC or Bravo that built or bought tech assets to monetize their inventory.
“They built [their technologies] last, but we built ours first,” he said. In rolling out Consumed Media, CPXi hopes to strengthen its position as a creator and licenser of content.
“Once we bring [consumers] in, we’ll sell those eyeballs to other publishers,” Seiman said. “Because of programmatic, mixed with data and the ability to purchase audiences like any advertiser does, we’re able to find a way to buy the right audiences who like our content such that it’s more valuable for us to pay them to come to our site. Because we’ll know how long they’ll be engaged in our content.”
Besides cultivating its Consumed Media audiences, CPXi also sees the publishing division as a testing bed through which it can experiment with advertising ideas before bringing them to clients.
If anything, CPXi has rolled in the opposite direction of many of its former ad network competitors, which worked to consolidate and streamline their offerings. CPXi is building out separate, though complementary, divisions.
According to company President Jeffrey Hirsch, this is all by design.
“Tying this back into the concept of transitioning, a lot of companies try to do it as a whole company,” he said. “We decided to break it into several smaller companies.”
Seiman and Hirsch spoke with AdExchanger.