Keen On… Vertical Media: Glam’s Big Hairy Arsed Idea (TCTV)

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Founded just seven and a half years ago, Glam Media is one of Silicon Valley’s few media success stories. Beginning in the women’s interest vertical and expanding to entertainment, health and wellness and now food, Glam acquired Ning last September and is rumored to be preparing an IPO for later this year. Glam’s great achievement, it claims, is to pioneer “vertical media” and thus to “transform the way consumers interact with content”.

But the truth of Glam’s success, its CEO Samir Arora acknowledged when he came into our San Francisco studio last week, is actually more complex than it first appears. Yes, Arora agreed, Glam’s “big haired arsed idea” was to understand that media was no longer simply a hits business and that Internet users want to connect and comment rather than simply consume content. But, as he also revealed, Glam’s strength lies as much as in executing advertising sales as in aggregating vertical media – resulting in a company that not only has successful curated content but has also curated its advertisers.

This is the final section of a two part interview with Arora. Last week, the former Apple executive told me about Glam’s latest vertical play, Foodie.com.