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June 26, 2014, 4:26 p.m.
Business Models
LINK: digiday.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   June 26, 2014

Digiday’s Lucia Moses has a piece noting GE’s significant steps into the world of digital publishing:

GE has used sites like The Economist and Quartz for native advertising to promote itself as a supporter of innovation. But its biggest and most visible effort to date came in March with the introduction of #pressing, a policy news hub that pulls in content from millennial-aimed Vox, where #pressing made a splash as a launch sponsor.

Other content partners are CNN, Politico, NBC News, Slate and Fox News.

GE’s sponsorship of Vox has indeed been eye-catching, from large ads at the bottom of stories to preroll on Vox videos.

vox-ge-pressing

The #pressing website aggregated GE-sponsored content from Vox, Fox, NBC, CNN, and elsewhere.

But #pressing isn’t the only stab GE has made at outsourcing the production of editorial content to experts in hopes of promoting its expansive brand:

Earlier in the year, its financing unit GE Capital launched Mid-Market Pulse, a news site focused on mid-sized companies, GE Capital’s target market. Slate’s branded content unit, Slate Custom, conceived of and manages the site’s content.

Moses doesn’t even mention Ideas Lab, a GE-branded, Atlantic Media Strategies-run site that launched less than a year ago. GE sponsors other sites as well, like Txchnologist, a digital “industry, technology and ingenuity” magazine.

When you consider the variety of places around the Internet you might come into contact with content that sponsored by GE — not just on their own sites, but on lots of partner sites as well — it seems that GE is looking beyond what you might call sponsored content.

Moses goes so far as to ask whether GE-funded sites might not be planning to one day compete outright with advertising or subscriber backed media.

As for Mid-Market, though, Nelson said it’s been growing steadily and that the ambition is to continue it indefinitely. “The goal is, this is someone’s Monday morning destination. We’re filling a void.”

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