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Q&A: Jim Spanfeller Wants "Entwined" Consumers

CEO weighs in on digital, social and mobile media changes.



By Michelle Manafy
05/07/2013

*Editor's Note: This story originally appears on FOLIO: sister site minonline.com.

Jim Spanfeller, CEO of Spanfeller Media, which runs The Daily Meal and The Active Times sites, was one of digital media’s earliest and most outspoken enthusiasts in the magazine world. As the longtime head of digital at Forbes, he led that magazine brand into leadership in the online financial news and analysis space. At the June 4 min day Digital Summit, Jim will be part of our end-of-day “Baker’s Dozen” lightning round of revenue tips and ideas from digital gurus. We asked Jim for a few insights from his new business.

min: What share of all of your traffic is now coming from smart phones or tablets and how high do you expect it to go in terms of share?

Spanfeller: These are two different questions. Tablets are not mobile; smartphones clearly are mobile. We see about 10 percent from tablets and around 5 percent from real mobile. For the tablet, publishers can look at it two ways—or maybe I should say 2 1/2 ways. Same experience as their core sit which, by the way, is what the tablet, or at least the iPad, was designed for—surfing the web. Or they can produce a tablet version of their sit, which to date has not proven all that profitable for most, though it does allow the end user to make use of the swiping functions of tablets. Or they can build specific apps around sub-sections of their sites, which is what we have done so far with our Best Dishes app. These tend to be very closely aligned with the Smart Phone apps that have been built. Often times, as in our case, they are the same.

min: Which social network is most important in driving traffic and engagement for your site?

Spanfeller: For The Daily Meal, Pinterest is the clear winner. Less so for The Active Times.

min: How important is video to your content mix?

Spanfeller: Very! We feature video on just about every page of our sites. We are now creating 3 to 5 original video segments a day for The Daily Meal. We see this as moving towards a fully "entwined" content offering. By entwined I mean consumer control on steroids. So consumer control is classically defined at what you want, when you want it. Entwined takes that a step further and suggests what you want (topic), when and where you want it (time and place shifting); and how you want it (text, video, data, community and so forth).

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Jim will be joined by Forbes SVP of Digital Advertising Mark Howard and Thrillist’s President of Sales Todd Anderman for the Baker’s Dozen session at min day. Learn more about the conference, or register now.
 

By Michelle Manafy
05/07/2013







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