Adweek: Why Axios Is Betting Big on Native Content, Sponsored Events and Branded Newsletters

Excerpt: A major area of real estate for Axios’ native content is within its stable of 17 free email newsletters, which Axios said adds up to more than 1 million subscriptions total. (Because many of the same people subscribe to several Axios newsletters, the newsletter readership is more like 355,000.) The open rate across the newsletters averages about 45 percent, according to the company, and newsletters are sold on a weekly basis, costing anywhere from $10,000 and $150,000 depending on the newsletter. Companies like Bank of America, Boeing and Morgan Stanley have all sponsored Axios’s flagship newsletter, Axios AM.

Other brands choose instead to run short-form native articles on Axios’ website, which saw 11 million uniques visitors in October, according to comScore. Native placements on Axios’ site, which appear in-stream in between Axios’ articles, are sold on a CPM basis, Axios said. One media buyer who spoke to Adweek said two pieces of native content on Axios’s website carried a price tag of between $80,000 and $100,000.

Natalya Namts, the associate director of digital investment at Mindshare North America, said one client she worked with used both newsletter sponsorships and native content posts on the site to good effect.

“They index well against policy makers, and have the ability to distribute branded messages from advertisers via their newsletters and on their homepage,” Namts said. “That said, you have to look at the competitive set they’re in. They’re competing against publishers such as Politico and The Washington Post, which have a larger scale and similar offerings. The biggest challenge for them moving forward as they compete for more ad dollars is going to be that question around scale.”

To learn more, read the full piece in Adweek.