Since taking ownership of the iconic urban publications NOW and the Straight in November 2019 and February 2020, respectively, Media Central has invested in transforming the legacy publications into leading digital platforms.
Recent announcements include the launch of new technology-based upgrades that will allow Media Central to monetize its existing audience including introducing affiliate marketing, automated marketing, and programmatic advertising.
The Toronto-based firm is the largest publisher of alternative titles in Canada, with nearly 6.5 million readers each month across Toronto’s NOW Magazine, Vancouver’s the Georgia Straight and CannCentral.com, an online cannabis news platform. In May, the firm entered the E-sports arena with the launch of ECentralSports, a new digital platform focused on gaming.
CEO Kalish told shareholders that the company was not alone in experiencing volatility in the marketplace in 2020, but Media Central was “staying the course.”
“The speed at which we have been digitizing and integrating our now four titles is unprecedented - we have acquired legacy publications that operated on outdated business models, and are briskly introducing them into the 21st-century, during a pandemic, within just months of their purchase; all on a shoestring budget, all in an environment where we and our peers have seen the retreat of approximately 80% of our revenue,” Kalish told shareholders.
Media Central had expected an annual consolidated run rate of approximately C$7 million in revenue, with forecasted gross margins of 65%, up from zero four months earlier, prior to the coronavirus-related emergency shutdowns.
“It is actually thrilling to watch how we are beginning to integrate ideas and the convergence that will come as a result of the hard work of our people,” Kalish wrote. “Our award-winning writers and editors and newly-minted marketers and salespeople have opportunities in front of them now, that simply did not exist before, and they are seizing the moment.”
The company recently announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with iMD Health Global to provide readers of its flagship publications, NOW Magazine and the Georgia Straight, with free access to Canada's largest library of up-to-date clinical health information.
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