return Home

How TechRadar uses precision content and ecommerce to engage audiences and increase revenue

Future’s TechRadar reached a milestone late last year - their 4 billionth page view, after 10 years of operation. FIPP caught up with Marc Chacksfield, the interim global editor-in-chief and one of TechRadar’s founding members, to see how the site is consistently innovating distribution and monetisation methods to engage its audience and increase revenue.

TechRadar, Future’s site for technology news and reviews, provides enthusiasts with breaking news, expert in-depth reviews and easy to follow how-to guides. 

Data is at the heart of everything they do, “It is using our expert knowledge as journalists to know what the next big thing is going to be, or target the next big thing,” Chacksfield explained.

 

Marc Chacksfield ()

 

The team that works with Chacksfield are all experts. And, by keeping up to date on the tips, rumours, trends, innovations, launches and developments in the tech field, the TechRadar team is quick to notice trends and top search terms and capitalise on them. They do this by mixing their own knowledge with data from their audience development team and the myriad analytics tools they use.

“We all have a thoroughly good time with what we do because we are our readers, which is the best way to explain the people who work at TechRadar - we love the technology we write about,” Chacksfield said. “We stick to what we know best, which is writing in-depth reviews of fantastic products.”

TechRadar uses data on their audiences to deliver precision content packages at particular times of the day when their audiences have different needs or are using certain devices. Their use of data is innovative in that it helps them deliver the right content at the right moment. 

 

TechRadar ()

 

“We help people searching for advice or gadgets become better informed so they can  make better decisions,” he said. “We’re not just writing to gain traffic, we’re trying to narrow in on what people want.”

What TechRadar does in terms of content production and delivery is grounded in data on what works from the last 10 years. “The key thing for us is that we have a core team working for TechRadar, and a few of us have been there right from the beginning,” Chacksfield said. “And that means everyone is an absolute expert in the field. We're not pivoting left right and centre, we know what we're writing about, we know the content we're delivering to our readers.”

 

***Julian March, managing director of Games, Music and Entertainment, will be at the Digital Innovators' Summit, 19-20 March in Berlin, to explain how Future approaches the “coming of age of digital”. There's still time to secure your place here.***

DIS logo ()


Ecommerce

TechRadar’s revenue has always come from a number of diversified streams, Chacksfield explained. A big part of their diversification strategy at the moment is ecommerce.

“We recognised, probably around 2014, that people come to TechRadar not just to find out about what products to buy, but also because they want the best places to buy them and the best prices,” he said. “So, we delivered and built a proprietary ecommerce price comparison technology called Hawk, which allows us to identify the most relevant retail deals for any product across hundreds of markets and thousands of retailers.”

Hawk taps into a database of 250 million products, the prices of which are updated three times a day. Ecommerce revenue is delivered each time a user clicks out to one of TechRadar’s retail partners and purchases a product. In four years, they’ve helped sell 1.5 million products through Hawk. 

Chacksfield explained that Hawk isn’t a one-size-fits-all widget, and that there are 12 comparison widgets that they can put within each of TechRadar’s buying guides. “It really depends on what kind of buying guide it is, that we'll tailor the widget to,” he said. “It's a huge thing for us at the moment and something we're really proud of.”

Revenue has always been strong for TechRadar, “We are, by no means, driven to ecommerce by necessity. TechRadar is one of the most trusted tech sites around, and that has meant brands want to work with us, Chacksfield explained. “Ad revenue has always been very strong.”

However, like any media company in 2018, it does help to diversify revenue streams. “The key for us is that the ecommerce side of things can run alongside ads. And it's quite predictable. We can base the revenue we can generate off this audience volume and it's also an additional way to know our audience, generating relationships with retail partners.”

 

TechRadar buyer guides ()

 

Lessons

For publishers looking to innovate their distribution and monetisation methods, the key to engaging audiences and increasing revenue, according to Chacksfield, is to stay grounded.

“Have a focus and stick to it as much as you can,” he said. “For us, we've never gone all in on something; we're not pivoting all of the time. We never went all in on video, but we have a strong video offering. We never went all in on social and yet we still have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook. If you're known for something, find as many ways as possible to amplify it.”

More like this

Dennis, India Today, Ebner, Future, The Economist and HBR on 2018 Media Tech Trends

How digital tools can transform newsrooms: cultural shifts and the growth of collaborative fact checking

At the sharp end of Future’s digital innovation

Matthew Monahan, director of Arc Publishing at WashPo, on speed and innovation in the newsroom

Five key media tech trends from February

  • Nordic warrior: transforming revenue models at Schibsted

    Norwegian-headquartered media giant Schibsted is often held up as a business that has transformed itself in recent years to remain relevant and thriving. Tor Jacobsen, SVP and chief consumer officer at Schibsted Media explains how the company has retained a focus on revenue generation during that transformation, and the role data is playing in driving growth.

    19th Jun 2019 Features
  • Finding a home at Penske Media, Rolling Stone 'poised to continue to tell world's most important stories... for decades to come'

    For over 50 years, Rolling Stone has been iconic in its coverage of music and popular culture, political journalism and commentary. From the Beatles' Magical Mystery tour to Shawn Mendes, Rolling Stone has covered the greatest rockstars, the hottest celebrities, the biggest political stories. Called a 'counterculture bible' by The New York Times, the magazine has launched careers, defined what was cool, inspired a rock song, been embroiled in controversy, and over the last two years, found a new home with Penske Media Corporation. 

    17th Jun 2019 Features
  • How to fix broken digital ad models

    Despite popular belief, subscriptions and paywalls will not be the silver bullet most digital publishers have been waiting for. Instead, publishers should be exploring innovation in digital advertising formats, said Jessica Rovello, co-founder and CEO, Arkadium, USA, at this year's Digital Innovators' Summit in Berlin. She proposed four new formats as a good place to start.

    17th Jun 2019 Features
  • American and European publishers learn from each other as advertising models converge

    In March, I attended the FIPP Digital Innovators’ Summit in Berlin and left with the realisation that advertising-related problems in Europe are the same ones we’re facing in America: media fragmentation, a failing business model, fraud, and the emergence of social platforms that distribute our content for free and control the ad spend.

    12th Jun 2019 Features
  • Finding a home at Penske Media, Rolling Stone 'poised to continue to tell world's most important stories... for decades to come'

    For over 50 years, Rolling Stone has been iconic in its coverage of music and popular culture, political journalism and commentary. From the Beatles' Magical Mystery tour to Shawn Mendes, Rolling Stone has covered the greatest rockstars, the hottest celebrities, the biggest political stories. Called a 'counterculture bible' by The New York Times, the magazine has launched careers, defined what was cool, inspired a rock song, been embroiled in controversy, and over the last two years, found a new home with Penske Media Corporation. 

    17th Jun 2019 Features
  • How to fix broken digital ad models

    Despite popular belief, subscriptions and paywalls will not be the silver bullet most digital publishers have been waiting for. Instead, publishers should be exploring innovation in digital advertising formats, said Jessica Rovello, co-founder and CEO, Arkadium, USA, at this year's Digital Innovators' Summit in Berlin. She proposed four new formats as a good place to start.

    17th Jun 2019 Features
  • Condé Nast International launches Vogue Business Talent

    Condé Nast International today announced the launch of Vogue Business Talent, a curated recruitment platform for professionals seeking opportunities with the world’s leading fashion brands. The new platform, launching with selected opportunities in London, New York, Paris, Milan and Hong Kong forms part of Vogue Business, the online B2B publication launched in January 2019.

    12th Jun 2019 Industry News
  • Chart of the week: Where do people find news on their smartphones?

    A little under half of the people in the United Kingdom and Finland said they first referred to news websites or apps when using a smartphone for news, according to Reuters most recent Digital News Report. While around half of people in the United States and Italy said they used social media and messaging apps when initially engaging with news on their smartphones.

    17th Jun 2019 Insight News
  • Hearst UK survey reveals people in a positive mind-set are 90 per cent more likely to buy a product they have seen advertised

    Hearst UK has commissioned a comprehensive piece of research with Theobalds Road, on the power of positivity. According to the research, people with a positive outlook on life are much more open minded and purposeful, and much more receptive to commercial messages. Thus, making them a key audience for advertisers.

    11th Jun 2019 Insight News
Go to Full Site