founder and CEO, Haven Home Media
Haven Home Media is applying a b-to-b approach to an online consumer startup.
More and more, former traditional publishing executives are recasting their lot with online startups. Thatâ€™s what Dan Meehan, a former Scripps Networks employee, did last year, launching Haven Home Media, which offers marketing opportunities to national brand advertisers in the shelter category.
Meehanâ€™s background includes running some of the home and real estate sites for Scripps including HGTV.com. â€śI looked at creating an HGTV-branded network at the time but, for a lot of different reasons, Scripps decided it wasnâ€™t something they were going to pursue,â€ť he says. â€śI knew people who had launched vertical media companies in different categories and always thought it was an interesting model. I wanted to bring independent sites together under one roof and start marketing them together to national advertisers.â€ť
Haven Home Media launched with private funds, with Meehan putting in between $50,000 and $100,000 to get started. The company has five employees today.
Meehan says the business starts with the way people find content online. â€śIt used to be a branded, walled garden where people went directly to URLs,â€ť he says. â€śNow with the proliferation of search and social media, itâ€™s almost turned the model on its head.â€ť
Phase one of the launch is aggregating audiences and working with leading advertisers across those sites. Phase two is growing from a vertical network approach to vertical media company that includes original sites, such as shelterhub.com, a vertical portal that will feature 800,000 home improvement professionals in a directory.
Haven Home Media sells advertising itself and works with brands like Home Depot, Ace Hardware and Wal-Mart. The company represents 45 Web sites and shares revenue with its publishing partners, usually on a 50/50 or 60/40 split.
According to comScore, Haven Home Media has grown from 7 million uniques last summer to 15 million today. Revenue was between $1.5 and $2 million last year and is on track to grow 500 percent in the first half of 2010, according to Meehan.
VITAL STATS: Traffic more than doubled over the last year to 15 million uniques while revenue doubled in each quarter in 2009.Â