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As Digital Media Companies Shift Focus from Scale towards Loyalty and Revenue, Piano Achieves Fourth Consecutive Quarter of Record Growth

Apr 03, 2017
Press releases

In Q1, NY-based SaaS business adds Crain’s, Digiday, London Review of Books, Resignation Media, Grupo Expansión, National Geographic, Stratfor, GFR Media, Investor’s Business Daily to who’s who of media client list

New York, NY, April 3, 2017 – For the fourth quarter in a row, Piano is celebrating record revenue growth and accelerating adoption of its unique content monetization platform. Among other functions, Piano’s vertically integrated software suite evaluates and segments digital audiences, tests and deploys targeted offers, and helps convert loyal users into registered and paying subscribers.

Piano’s most recent client acquisitions add to its already significant roster of leading media businesses, including Business Insider, Gannett, Hearst, AOL, Gatehouse, The Economist, and NBCUniversal.

“Digiday is growing rapidly thanks to new premium editorial products and business models,” said Nick Friese, Digiday’s CEO. “We conducted a thorough review of available solutions and conducted a buy vs. build analysis to determine what software approach would provide us the greatest flexibility as we continue to scale. We’re delighted to be partnered with Piano.”

Piano is the digital content monetization and audience intelligence platform for the world’s most sophisticated publishers and media companies. The company’s award-winning, high-performance enterprise platform includes a subscription commerce tool (Piano VX), a customer experience engine (Piano Composer), an analytics tool (Piano AI), and a user management system (Piano ID) that serve as a comprehensive product suite for media businesses across digital platforms.

“Our massive daily audience is our greatest resource and we’re excited to use Piano’s software to cater to those users in new ways,” said Eric Spielman, SVP of Product & Strategy at Resignation Media, which includes flagship brands theCHIVE and The Berry along with a constellation of other websites, apps, and OTT channels. “We picked Piano because of its superior monetization capabilities, built-in testing, and ability to enhance every step of the user journey. With Piano as a partner, we can focus even more of our resources on creating content that matters to our large and growing dedicated audience.”

“It’s an honor to work with so many incredible content companies,” said Trevor Kaufman, Piano CEO. “We started our company five years ago to help companies who were experts in media, but who were underserved by Silicon Valley, with their foundational technical challenges. I’m thrilled with the increasing success of both our clients and ourselves as we put the companies who create the world’s best media back in control of their customer relationships. We see this as just the beginning.”

Piano Powering Content Monetization Strategy For The Economist

Aug 09, 2016
Press releases

Publisher Utilizes Piano’s Powerful and Intuitive Platform to Drive Engagement and Optimize Digital Revenues Across Desktop, Mobile and In-App Offerings

New York, NY, August 9, 2016 – The Economist just expanded its user engagement and monetization strategy at Economist.com using Piano’s Composer. Composer is part of Piano’s product suite that enables media companies to optimize their digital businesses with higher audience engagement and new revenue.

“The Piano platform offers us a configurable way of implementing personalised subscription messaging to our readers without coding required,” said Mark Brincat, CTO, The Economist. “The ease with which we’re able to test different messaging based on behavioral feedback, geographic location and dozens of other variables provides increased flexibility in our ability to engage our audiences.”

Piano makes creating, managing and testing any kind of content monetization solution a simple, drag-and-drop set up, helping media owners develop fully-featured platforms for all types of digital content, from news articles to video. The Piano platform integrates seamlessly with publishers’ existing payment, advertising, and print subscription systems and allows publishers to make changes in real-time rather than through a lengthy development process.

“For publishers, the difficulty in implementing a successful paid content strategy is there’s no single right way to do it and finding the right formula usually comes only after a great deal of effort,” said Piano CEO Trevor Kaufman. “The Piano platform dramatically streamlines this process, allowing publishers to rapidly test, analyze, refine and implement multiple strategies to find that optimum solution without a lengthy development cycle. We are excited to welcome The Economist as our newest client and look forward to helping them further develop their digital business.”

About Piano

Piano is the digital content monetization and audience intelligence platform for the world’s most sophisticated publishers and media companies. The company’s elegant and powerful enterprise platform includes a commerce tool (Piano VX), a business rules engine (Piano Composer) and an analytics tool (Piano AI) that serve as a complete product suite for managing digital content businesses across desktop, mobile and in-app formats. Piano clients include NBC Universal, Hearst, Bonnier, The Economist, The EW Scripps Company, The Postmedia Network, Conde Nast, Gannett, GateHouse Media, and Grupo Abril and over 1,200 other media outlets.

Industry Insights: the problem with analytics

Jun 09, 2016
Industry Insights

iu
Industry Trend of the Week

Who is really looking at online content? How do publishers know that a page view is a story that’s read, an ad that’s viewed and not just someone who has clicked through from social media or a search engine and then bounced? Current analytics tools return page views, but do they really show how users are engaging with, reading or viewing content? Page views were established as a metric to help online publishers sell advertising, why has it been adopted by the newsroom and isn’t there something better? Thomas Baekdal addresses this issue in the story of the week.

Story of the Week
Accurate Analytics is Painful
Baekdal sums up why analytics, like Google Analytics, used by most publishers, simply don’t tell the whole truth. Baekdal argues that if you want to get a better feel for what people are reading, then there are different ways, much different ways, to look at the metrics being returned.

Shoptalk: Can Publishers Step Away From the Brink of Peak Content?
There’s been a lot of disparagement of publishers who employ clickbait. Though the definition has shifted from its origin as a term for the gap between what a publisher promises and what the article actually delivers to a more generic term for lazy reportage or crummy lists, nobody wants to be seen endorsing a model that prioritizes empty clicks.

Keep reading

Industry Insights: Silicon Valley stealing away publishers’ lunch money

Jun 02, 2016
Industry Insights

iu
Industry Trend of the Week

Last week saw a number of publications announce they were culling staff to cut costs; this week the buzz is all about how much ad money Silicon Valley is removing from online publishers’ coffers. The $60B that Google collected in advertising revenue last year dwarfs the entire publishing industry, including print, which clocked in at somewhat less than $25B. Sadly it doesn’t seem like either Google or Facebook will be returning ad revenue to publishers – ever – leaving publishers to cut staff and figure out different monetization methods to stay afloat.

Story of the Week
Can anyone save The New York Times from itself?
As noted last week, seismic waves are rocking major publications; this story details what’s going on behind the scenes at The NYT two years after Dean Baquet became editor, and the deeper changes that are coming from changes he’s already implemented.

Silicon Valley’s hoover leaves newspapers hunting for profit
In the last year there has been an unprecedented exodus of spending, as the UK’s top 10 newspaper advertisers, which includes names like Sky, British Telecom, Tesco and Asda take their business elsewhere. This is forcing unprecedented cost cutting by newspapers, laying off journalists, decreasing office space and reducing scale. Keep reading

Industry Insights: It’s a tough time to be a reporter

May 26, 2016
Industry Insights

youre_fired_no_really
Industry Trend of the Week

Journalists are again in for a tough time as their employers are cutting yet more reporters and editors. First The Daily Telegraph announced it was culling senior newsroom staff including their Deputy Editor. Then new media darling Vice axed both London-based foreign correspondents and another 18 people in the UK and the US as they restructure. Finally, The New York Times announced buyouts as part of its overall effort to remake their entire organization. Even with more digital revenue filling the coffers, sadly it’s not enough to prevent a dramatic loss of talent from top news organizations.

Story of the Week
Looking for a sustainable business model for a regional newspaper? Start at the Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Star Tribune’s revenues are up in 2016 after holding even for the past couple of years. This news won’t provoke envy at Google or Vox, but it’s good news for a newspaper publisher nonetheless. CEO and publisher Michael Klingensmith talks about how the Star Trib is keeping ahead of trends to keep their ROI up.

Fee or free? When to charge for online content
An interesting look at how to charge for content under different online subscription models – focusing on how content appeals to audience in cycles. For instance, when a sport is in season, there is more demand for content surrounding that sport and subsequently, it becomes easier to charge for related content. Keep reading