Fusion enters a branded content market with increased competition. Many advertiser RFPs ping a dozen publishers to come up with big ideas, but just one idea wins.
“Advertisers have the appetite to work with one to three publishers on the larger branded content campaigns. That’s the new normal,” said Wagenheim, a former publisher of Condé Nast’s Teen Vogue.
Also, advertisers are moving away from a CPM model (where they paid for the snippets of their article previews) to cost per view as the currency for branded content. Brands can get 1 million views from a publisher Fusion’s size or one several times larger. Still, “scale definitely matters,” Wagenheim said.
For effective distribution of branded content, Fusion tests up to 12 combinations of text and creative on Facebook, a process it dubbed FACT (Fusion Audience Creative Testing). The winning combination goes out wide on the social platform. Programs tested by Fusion average 40% higher share rates, and click-through rates rise 50% to 100% while reach improves 20%.
Scaling via distribution across Univision’s other digital properties, which include The Onion, The Root, Flama and, soon, Gawker, is still just an idea. And while Fusion’s presence includes a television network, Univision handles those sales. In the future, as early as the fourth quarter, the two groups will start collaborating on deals that span TV and digital.
Wagenheim’s higher-ups are still sorting out how everything will work together. “Univision is betting on scale and diversity,” he said, a teasing glimpse to what the media company might build.