ESI Media launches commercial content team as its digital-only business model crystalises

ESI Media launches commercial content team as its digital-only business model crystalises.

In what is fast becoming a must for any publisher looking to extract more profit from online, ESI Media is launching a branded content arm to help maintain the early growth behind its focus on just its digital footprint.

The in-house ‘Story Studio’ officially launches today (4 October) off the back of early tests with Sainsbury’s, Sky and Westfield.

Staffed by a team of experts from across the media group, the division is led by director Charlie Edleman, who was previously brand activation director for the group. Among the team’s higher profile members include Ellen E Jones, formerly The Independent’s TV critic. To that end, the Story Studio team will directly work with editorial teams in key verticals such as film and entertainment, fashion and beauty, food and drink as well as science and technology.

The publisher is also quick to highlight how the new offering gives advertisers access to its premium data on readers.

Jon O’Donnell, managing director at ESI Commercial, said: "Story Studio reflects the importance we place on innovation, giving clients unique access to our wide network of content expertise and powerful media portfolio. Aligning closely with brands to reflect their evolving business needs, Story Studio will allow clients to engage with our influential audience in a creative and tailored way. Working directly with editorial talent such as Ellen E Jones brings genuine authenticity to the campaigns we are creating – a real benefit for commercial partners.”

The notion that the publisher of the future acts like an agency is a thought not lost on ESI Media, which follows in the footsteps of the Guardian, MailOnline, Vice Media and more. In what is fast becoming a must for any publisher looking to extract more profit from online, ESI Media is launching a branded content arm to help maintain the early growth behind its renewed focus on growing its digital footprint in the absence of a paywall around the sites of either the Independent or Evening Standard.

Part of the success of Story Studios will likely depend on how well advertisers respond to a new insight it claims “reverses” the traditional assumptions about what achievement means to people. More than half of consumers claim they measure how well they are achieving in terms of experience, the crux for advertisers being that they need to be more “achievement minded”. More than six in ten (63 per cent) consumers want brands to help them to achieve, found the study, while less than half (40 per cent) said they have been inspired by advertiser. More than a third a (35 per cent) said ads help them see what they could achieve in life.

To capitalise on the findings, ESI Media has created audience segments that allow advertisers to target groups of achievers using the insights gleaned.

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