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Smooth Operator, Season 1, Episode 4. Paige Hart-Smith, Vice President of Performance Marketing, The Daily Beast

Oct 19, 2023 by Martech Record

Our fourth episode of Smooth Operator focuses on a conversation with Paige Hart-Smith, The Daily Beast’s Vice President of Performance Marketing. She shares what she learned in her previous roles at Publisher’s Clearing House and Slate Magazine, and she discusses how her programmatic experience helped prepare her for the launch of Scouted, The Daily Beast’s shopping and e-commerce vertical. She also details how The Daily Beast sells and packages its affiliate offerings, how it tracks important metrics and what considerations the team makes to stay relevant and continue on its growth trajectory.




In Hart-Smith’s words, The Daily Beast is known as a “scrappy” publication with a loyal readership. So when Scouted launched in 2019, the mission was quickly aimed at capturing the publication’s audience and serving recommendations for products they could use.

We never wanted it to be its own freestanding entity like we see some of our competitors doing,” Hart-Smith said. “I always say ‘It's not its own town, it's sort of a different neighborhood’ in the same town as it pertains to the larger Daily Beast ecosystem.”

Scouted editorial content and sponsored content are still kept separate to maintain editorial integrity, but internally, they fall under the same umbrella at The Daily Beast. In the episode, Hart-Smith discusses how sponsored content – including one example for a CBD brand - has helped drive learnings for editorial content. Those lessons boost revenue and reader interest.

“Something that we've seen to be successful time and again is being able to think about what The Daily Beast newsroom team is writing about and apply that to our Scouted commerce content,” she said.

Smooth Operator is a podcast where we explore the business of commerce content. Commerce content is emerging as a key driver of revenue for media and publishing companies. But, best practices for building the operations, sales, technology and culture of a commerce content organizations is still evolving.   

Smooth Operator is made possible by our partner OneCTA, a platform that makes it easy for publishers to grow their affiliate revenue with optimized calls to action. Create a free account at, where you can also explore libraries of popular ad templates and build custom experiences proven to grow publisher revenue today.