Technology platform company Maven has experienced revitalization through new leadership and funding. In August 2020, Maven brought in Ross Levinsohn as its CEO. This change came after Maven acquired the rights to operate Sports Illustrated, of which Levinsohn also serves as CEO.
James Heckman, Maven’s founder and former CEO, plans to advise Levinsohn through this transitional period on strategic and business development initiatives. “We are excited about this new chapter in the evolution of the company, our partnerships and the leadership Ross will bring to the company,” says John Fichthorn, Maven’s executive chairman.
The Right Fit For Maven
Ross Levinsohn’s three decades of experience in finance, technology and media make him a more-than-qualified leader for Maven. Throughout his career, Levinsohn has always sought opportunities for growth and innovation. With Levinsohn at the helm, Maven can expect creative solutions to the modern-day concerns facing the publishing industry. Levinsohn’s versatility and incredible experience will be invaluable to Maven during the media’s volatile phases.
Media, both print and digital, has witnessed a pressing demand for free, accessible content from consumers who have grown tired of advertisements. This shift has forced publishers to find creative solutions when advertisements fail to produce enough revenue.
Despite these challenges, Maven has already seen growth during Levinsohn’s leadership. In particular, the technology platform has evaluated how it will manage its brands after the pandemic. Levinsohn’s role as CEO promises to meet today’s challenges with tomorrow’s solutions.
Maven, a Seattle-based corporation, specializes in managing media publisher brands. It provides scalable publishing and monetization services and infrastructure to more than 300 media brands. Its services include onboarding, publishing tools, marketing automation, content circulation and distribution and data management. Publishers who partner with Maven receive unparalleled technology, traffic growth, increased monetization and operational savings.
Dedication to Its Brands
The company prides itself on its mission to empower publishers, journalists and storytellers who impact, inform, educate and entertain. Home to brands such as History, Yoga Journal, Maxim and Ski Magazine, Maven’s influence reaches far and wide to 150 million consumers each month.
In 2019, Maven expanded its brands by acquiring Jim Cramer’s digital franchise business, TheStreet. Under Maven’s management, this brand has expanded its reach by increasing its audience and subscription revenue. Maven made a deal with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) in 2020 to license the rights to Sports Illustrated.
About Ross Levinsohn
Ross Levinsohn boasts an impressive career spanning over 35 years in technology, media and finance. His previous leadership roles include President of Fox Interactive Media, Interim CEO at Yahoo!, CEO at Tribune Interactive, senior advisor at Boston Consulting Group and on-air contributor on CNBC. The range and prestige of these positions led Levinsohn to develop valuable connections in his fields, making him an asset to any company he works for.
Now, Levinsohn serves as a strategic advisor and consultant while actively supporting more than 30 enterprises in both the early and growth stages. With a strong focus on trustworthy, quality content, Levinsohn works with companies to help their staff create cohesive content and boost viewership. Levinsohn has his finger on the pulse of financial, media and technological trends, allowing him to fulfill consumer expectations.
Levinsohn’s Four Strategies for Success
More than ever, publishers need to solidify their priorities and develop new strategies for success. Levinsohn, always willing to adapt, believes that magazines will still thrive in the digital age. “Magazines are becoming the trusted content creators and tastemakers,” he says, “especially in the so-called ‘post-fact era’.”
For print and digital media to persevere, Levinsohn has developed four key principles for publications to adopt. Levinsohn himself uses these strategies as a blueprint for his leadership at Sports Illustrated and Maven.
Prioritize Cost or Quality
Publications have different visions for their futures, meaning they must prioritize cost or quality accordingly. For example, a high-end publisher who wants to maintain their image should emphasize producing top-tier content for their readers. “Luxury publishers should publish book-like magazines designed to stay on someone’s shelf,” Levinsohn says. “This communicates prestige, luxury and quality.”
Low-cost publishers benefit more when they cut print costs. Levinsohn advises these publishers to transition toward digital access as opposed to print in order to optimize cost.
Hone In on a Niche
Reader loyalty poses a major concern for many publications. However, publications can retain readers by tailoring content to a niche target audience. Lower rates for loyal readers, bundling subscriptions with other publications or offering digital and print bundles all give readers more reason to subscribe to a publication.
Create Quality Content
Readers need to trust that content is reputable. “Trustworthy content has a lot of value today,” asserts Levinsohn. Because of this, publishers have a responsibility to ensure their consumers receive quality information.
Levinsohn has already implemented this principle at Sports Illustrated. The publication has hired top-tier, vetted professionals in all departments. Photographers, journalists, fact-checkers and editors all come together to guarantee the quality of SI’s content. Building a reputation for dependable content will attract more dedicated readers.
Developing Premium Memberships
The future of magazines and other publications lies in subscriber-supported digital content. Levinsohn strongly believes “media brands can afford to do both print and digital with paid membership options.”
Publishers should create incentives for readers to subscribe to their content. Sports Illustrated gives premium members access to the SI vault, with issues dating back to the publication’s debut. With the added revenue from subscriptions, a publisher can hire more high-caliber staff. It all feeds into each other.
Progressing with Trusted, Innovative Leadership
Maven can feel confident that as it moves through this new phase in technology and consumer trends, its CEO has the insight and vision to bring success. Instead of fighting change, Ross Levinsohn’s strong belief in media and publishers gives him the power to gracefully adapt to new circumstances. As a result, Maven’s partners, shareholders and brands will continue to thrive and prosper as Levinsohn guides them with excellence and dedication.