A few years back, Gary Vaynerchuk knew he wanted to get into the content business. But the New York entrepreneur and investor, who has run ad agency VaynerMedia since 2009, didn’t want a clickbait farm just chasing quick-and-easy views.
Vaynerchuk was friends with Ryan Harwood, founder of women’s lifestyle site PureWow. Over time, he came to understand PureWow’s business better — and then bought it in January 2017. “The fact that PureWow was not very good at siphoning off audience from Facebook was very interesting,” he says. “It’s a real brand.”
That led to the formation of Gallery Media Group, which houses PureWow. In June, the group launched its second media property: ONE37pm, aimed at young men and focused on the intersection of culture and entrepreneurship.
Gallery’s central philosophy is to produce compelling, upbeat content that’s authentic to the millennial audiences it is trying to hit, says CEO Harwood. “These are not snarky brands,” he says. “We want to be a respite from the noise and negativity.”
In a break with the conventional church/state divide in place at publishing companies, Gallery’s editors collaborate with the sales marketing team on branded content. Still, Harwood notes, “you can’t jam something down the audience’s throat just because it’s beneficial to the advertiser.”
Gallery Media generates the bulk of its revenue through branded content, having done work for Procter & Gamble’s Olay and Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena. This summer Gallery made a big hire from the TV biz, tapping Kate Mitchell, previously SVP of sales at Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, to be its first chief revenue officer. Mary Kate McGrath is its chief content officer.
“We’re trying to build something so that when a brand does something with us, it gets meaningful impressions, not just talk,” Vaynerchuk says.
Pictured: Mary Kate McGrath, Gary Vaynerchuk and Ryan Harwood lead Gallery Media Group.