Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 100,000 views.
Maven is a media company. Very few knows what Maven does. The word "maven" is suppose to be someone who is an expert on something. Maven has gone through some restructuring. It now has a new CEO.
- Nov. 2020
The Market (MVEN)
The stock market has been on an upward trajectory for the past 4 years. Except for a brief downfall during the COVID-19 shut down in March and April of 2020, it has reached records territory in both the DOW and the NASDAQ. Meanwhile, the stock of Maven has experienced a sever decline down to $0.66 per share. This is penny stock territory. By any measure, this is a failure of leadership, of vision and most important, failure of execution.
The Maven Logo
WHAT IS MAVEN?
Maven is a media coalition of professional content destinations (“mavens”), operating exclusively on a shared digital publishing, advertising and distribution platform, providing a major media scale alternative to news and information distributed on social platforms.
The .IO Domain Name
A .io domain name is for technology start up companies. IO stands for input/output in the computer jargon. Is Maven a technology company?
What is the underlying technology? if any?
What is the innovation? if any?
What is the business model for profit? if any?
Remember the .com bubble of the 2000? Anything with a dot.com was gold until it crashed. Just having a name does not make your company a success
The Maven Business Model
"The high-scale, unified platform offers operating leverage to all participants of Maven’s efficient ecosystem. Ad agencies are more in control, and their marketing more successful operating within a single, pristine environment. Consumers enjoy single log-in and navigation, as well as consistent quality. Publisher “mavens” are finally offered a fair, sustainable business model with free distribution and world-class technology and investors can count on a profitable business model that doesn’t require material increases in costs to scale revenue. This formula has proven profitable and sustainable since its first version created for the NFL in 1991 (“NFL Exclusive”), is still providing tens of millions of perpetual revenue for Yahoo! (Rivals.com) since the mid-nineties, as the exact same premium coalition playbook continues be successful for Scout.com/247Sports and Hulu.
Keeping true to its winning formula, Maven’s business model eliminates all non-content operating expenses for its coalition equity partners, and its distributed operating leverage enables its entire suite of services to be provided on a revenue share basis, which creates lower (non-fixed) operating costs than if a media company was forced to create and run its own platform and digital ad sales team. Partners also receive a much higher level of technical and relationship proficiency, given Maven’s platform focus and years of experience operating and leading multi-billion-user digital media platforms."
A Hypothetical Business Model
What does blockchain have to do with it? No one really knows.
The New CEO -
Ross Levinsohn is the new CEO of Maven. He has a checkered past. He was in charge of Sports Illustrated magazine when it was bought out by Maven. He needs to prove himself worthy of such a position at this critical juncture. I wish him the best.
Buying of Sports Illustrated
Maven in 2018 made the command decision to buy SI for $45 million. This in hind sight was a huge mistake. Actually, it was a mistake period. Who in their right mind would pay $45 mullion for a failed magazine that no one reads?
Here is a brilliant idea. Why not let the guy who ran SI to the ground, run Maven?
What About HubPages?
The history of HubPages as a web publishing content creator. It has been around a long time and it has proven to be a survivor. It is the last man standing in the arena of web publishing platform. From the start, it was not a money making operation. The monetary gains were small and meant to be for charity donations for the most part.
The shared revenue between HubPages and the content creators, Hubbers, were sufficient to draw interest. It was not sufficient to make a living or even a part time job. People publish on HubPages because they have a passion to write. They want to share their knowledge.
The latest revision has made HubPages almost obsolete. It is the proverbial step child that they don't know what to do with.
The future of Maven is in doubt. Unless they can increase their financial picture, and start to show some profits, I don't see any more infusion of capital. The purchase of Sports Illustrated was a gamble that lost. Most print magazines are on the way out. The internet has made most print content, including newspapers and magazines obsolete.Take Time magazine for example. It is on life support and the publisher and editors don't even know it. The content is so biased, it cannot pass as a news magazine anymore. Time is just a reflection of the current atmosphere. The media has dropped their sense of responsibility as the watchdog of people in power. Instead, they are cheer leaders for one party over the other and thus alienate half of their readers.
My hope is that Maven will seek a different path. One that will cater to all the people. Political correctness is not a business model. It will fail just like all groups that follow this fascistic approach to human behavior.
Some Related Info
- Maven Partner Update - August 11, 2020
A compendium of news from in and around the company for partners and other stakeholders.
- Maven says it’s saving Sports Illustrated. Staffers say it’s chaos. - The Washington Post
Sports Illustrated's new owners say the future is bright. Its dwindling staff isn't so sure.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Jack Lee
Ken Burgess from Florida on November 16, 2020:
Great article Jack, an enjoyable and informative read.
Jack Lee (author) from Yorktown NY on November 16, 2020:
Mike, thanks for those kind words. I am not happy with the progress of HubPages or the lack thereof. They had three years to work on profitability and they have failed to deliver on their promise. It is time for major changes and a change in leadership. That is how our system works.
Readmikenow on November 16, 2020:
Very insightful and well-done article. You provided a lot of good information. I enjoyed reading it.