November 13, 2017 Last Updated 10:25 am

Salon revenue up 20% in quarter, but online media group still operating in the red

NEW YORK, NY — November. 9, 2017 — Salon Media Group, Inc.  today announced its results for the six months ended September 30, 2017.

Highlights:

  • Revenue increased 20% to $1.2 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, year-over-year
  • Net losses of $0.8 million included approximately $0.2 million in one-time non-cash charges
  • 56% increase in cost-per-thousand-impression (“CPMs”) in the quarter ended September 30, 2017, year-over-year
  • New website launched in September 2017 has increased traffic and revenues
  • In September 2017, Salon.com surpassed 980,000 Facebook “likes” and one million Twitter followers

Revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 was $1.2 million, an increase of 20% from $1.0 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.  Revenue for the six months ended September 30, 2017 was $2.6 million, an increase of 13% from $2.3 million for the six months ended September 30, 2016. The increase in revenue was a result of a continued significant industry shift in online advertising from advertising sold by a direct sales team to advertising increasingly being sold through software-based “programmatic” technology.

Net losses for the quarter ended September 30, 2017 decreased to $0.8 million as compared to $0.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.  Net losses for the six months ended September 30, 2017 decreased to $1.4 million as compared to $1.7 million for the six months ended September 30, 2016.  The decreased losses resulted from an increase in revenues and steady operating expense at $1.9 million for both the quarters ended September 30, 2017 and September 30, 2016.  Operating expense reduced to $3.7 million for the six months ended September 30, 2017 compared to $4.0 million for the six months ended September 30, 2016.  The net losses included several non-recurring items, including $0.3 million non-cash interest expense recorded for the beneficial conversion feature of capital raising transactions during the quarter ended June 30, 2017, as well as the reversal of accrued bonuses for prior employees.

The Company has been making changes to its advertising footprint to capture the greater programmatic opportunity for its display and video advertising inventory, allowing the Company to improve its CPMs from its programmatic advertising by 56% in the quarter ended September 30, 2017 as compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2016. The higher programmatic CPMs were offset, however, by a decline in traffic from the same period last year, which led to a smaller inventory of ad products to sell, and consequently, a smaller relative increase in revenues.

Salon has continued to roll out a strategy to produce original video content focused on news, politics, and entertainment under the banner of Salon Talks and Salon Stage, with a goal to add high quality, diversified content to Salon’s Website and to attract video advertising that commands higher CPMs as compared to display advertising. Popular recent interviews on Salon Talks included Senator Al Franken, scientist Bill Nye, and actors Niecy Nash and Jay Ellis, while Salon Stage hosted acoustic sets by, among others, the Revivalists, Lukas Nelson, and Wyclef Jean. Salon has seen growth in its video views, reaching over 35 million video views during the quarter ended September 30, 2017, compared to about 12.8 million views during the quarter ended September 30, 2016.

In September 2017, Salon launched a new mobile-first website to provide users with a faster and better experience. The redesign intends to capitalize on mobile user behavior, allow for flexibility to deploy future technologies and features, and increase revenue opportunities for the Company.  The website also was built to increase user engagement and optimize for pick up by social media websites.  In September 2017, Salon.com surpassed 980,000 Facebook “likes” and one million Twitter followers.

“Salon is starting to see consistent performance in our revenue growth and cost containment,” said Jordan Hoffner, Chief Executive Officer of Salon. “The combination of our technology upgrade, brand extension into video, global reach and powerful editorial voice is beginning to show our true potential as a strong player in the digital media landscape.”

Comments are closed.