The company, which owns entertainment and teen magazines such as InTouch Weekly and J-14, has slowly expanded its business in the US over the past two years. To get there, the company spent much of 2014 building its five-person national sales team, which was charged with securing big deals with buyers. That changed this July, when the company shifted gears and replaced those direct sellers with a combination of third-party partners and a two-person ad operations team.
The rationale for the shift: While an internal sales team might help Bauer reach bigger brands, programmatic was actually making the company more money. Bauer Media, which comScore says gets 9m monthly uniques, wasn’t turning many heads at media buying agencies, making it hard to justify the cost of a pricy sales team, according to Bauer Xcel Media president Christian Baesler.
“When we looked at the net costs of the direct sales effort and the speed of building it up, it made having that team less favorable for us than working through programmatic channels,” he said.
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