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Smooth Operator, Season 1, Episode 9. Lauren Newman, EVP Media and Commerce, Red Ventures

Apr 26, 2024 by Martech Record

The latest episode of Smooth Operator features a conversation with Lauren Newman (EVP at Red Ventures), who oversees revenue for the CNET and ZDNet media properties. The episode highlights CNET's recent distribution deal with Best Buy, Newman's career path and her insight on media sales. 

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In this episode Newman shared details about CNET’s innovative partnership with Best Buy, which had just launched.  The strategy is poised to reshape the future of commerce for publishers.  The collaboration involves integrating CNET’s editorial expertise directly into the retail environment, allowing Best Buy customers to access expert opinions and in-store and online reviews.  

Newman highlights the initial success of incorporating CNET’s Editor’s Choice Awards and video content within Best Buy locations, leading to a significant purchase lift for featured products.  Custom CNET ad units on Best Buy’s website have also seen significantly higher click-through rates than other content, underscoring the effectiveness of combining expert authority with retail presence.

The partnership extends beyond simple affiliate links; it represents a strategic alliance that blends CNET’s media capabilities with Best Buy’s retail operations.  This initiative should boost credibility and sales and support a seamless consumer journey from product discovery to purchase, enhanced by CNET’s content directly at the point of sale.  

In addition to the partnership discussion, we also discussed Lauren’s background and career highlights moving from direct sales to commerce media.

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