Publisher Spotlight: Bestofmedia (Tom’s Hardware & Tom’s Guide)

About Bestofmedia & Tom’s Guide

Bestofmedia’s portfolio of sites feature some of the biggest and best names in publishing, including Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s Guide.

The organization is the fourth largest tech publisher in the United States and has a team of over 80 full-time editors. The family of sites receives more than 10 million unique monthly visitors in the United States (38 million worldwide) and 177 million monthly page views (472 million worldwide).

Each of the sites cater to a different technology enthusiast. Tom’s Hardware focuses on computer hardware and components, while Tom’s Guide focuses on consumer electronics.

The Challenge: Selecting the Right Partners

“I get emails every day from prospective monetization partners,” said François Hutter, Director of Advertising Solutions & Partnerships at Bestofmedia.  “But, what some might not realize is how careful we need to be when evaluating partnerships.”

The process of selecting a monetization partner requires not only a thorough review of the solution by the organization’s product team, but also careful consideration of the Bestofmedia audience.

“We are fortunate in that our audience is fairly sophisticated when it comes to online business, and they understand the need to monetize,” said François. “However, they are also quick to notice changes and will voice their concern if there is a monetization method they don’t like.”

As a result, François is diligent when selecting new monetization partners to ensure partners generate revenue and don’t negatively impact traffic.

The Solution: A Partnership that Scales

In 2009 Bestofmedia found VigLink: a partner that would introduce a new revenue stream for the Company by automatically and seamlessly monetizing the sites’ outbound links to products, services and merchants. The straight forward installation (adding a code snippet to the footer of their site), allowed the product team to easily measure whether VigLink was positively impacting the site’s RPM (a calculation of revenue per page), without negatively impacting traffic.

“After activating VigLink, we immediately saw an increase in RPM,” said François. “And VigLink is so unobtrusive that there was no impact on user experience.  It’s great that VigLink doesn’t replace anything we are currently doing for website monetization– the revenue the service generates is purely incremental.”

But the most critical benefit, according to François, comes from the relationships VigLink maintains on behalf of Bestofmedia.

“It’s difficult and time consuming to build relationships with great merchants and advertisers,” said François. “VigLink does this on our behalf — and we benefit from their scale and ability to secure higher commissions than we could earn by ourselves.”

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