Mashable, the news site about all things digital and social, has named New York Times veteran Seth Rogin to oversee ad sales, branded content and events as the company's first chief revenue officer. His hiring is effective immediately.
Mr. Rogin, a VP-advertising at The Times whose various responsibilities during his tenure included events as well as mobile and tablet sales, will now lead a staff of 18 ad sales, events and marketing people at Mashable. Some of his new duties had been handled by Ken Detlet, senior VP-sales and marketing, until Mr. Detlet left for the Associated Press in March. But the company said Mr. Rogin is taking a bigger role.
"We've obviously spent a lot of time building our integrated advertising and we wanted a C-level title who would lead these efforts," Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore.
Mashable, which a then-19-year-old Mr. Cashmore began in his bedroom in 2005, attracted 6.3 million unique visitors in May, a 43% gain from the previous year, according to ComScore. (Mashable said its internal figures put its unique visitors at 25 million.) Mashable's revenue was roughly $15 million in 2012.
According to Mr. Cashmore, traditional advertising -- such as display ads on the site -- accounts for 55% of Mashable's revenue, while branded content contributes 30% and events make up 10%. The rest comes from products such as its job board.
"The model is already successful, but we can grow the scale of it," Mr. Rogin said. "Mashable is really excelling in reaching the tech-focused, internet-focused audience. We can bring in brands that want to reach this audience like auto, apparel, and entertainment."
Mashable was a pioneer in giving advertisers the coveted space meant traditionally for editorial content, but it has faced stiff competition in this arena from sites such as BuzzFeed and Business Insider. In March, as part of an effort to give its advertisers more exposure, Mashable introduced Social Lift, which enables brands to drop social media assets such as YouTube videos and Vine posts into ad units that appear in the site's stream of content. Last week, it rolled out Mashable Lift for Brand Partners, an offshoot of Social Lift in which agencies and brands can post to the site within a matter of hours.
That program will be part of Mr. Rogin's focus. He will also try to help grow its event business, which it began in 2008 with its Social Good Summit. "Everyone is confident there is a much larger business to be had," Mr. Rogin said. "Count on us investing in staff and product to make sure we continue to be very strongly engaged."
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