How Bustle and Atlantic Media are expanding their agency services

Today’s publishers have to think about more than just advertising and subscription revenue. The latest example is millennial women-aimed Bustle, which has launched Bustle Trends Group, a research arm.

The Trends Group plans to publish white papers and do custom projects for companies that want to market to millennial women. The unit is being led by Jessie Tarlov and the goal is to have up to five people by the end of the year.

Jason Wagenheim, chief revenue officer for Bustle, to whom the unit will report, said the long-term goal is obviously to sell more advertising in Bustle. But he said it’ll operate more like a research firm, co-publishing with other research firms and producing data that doesn’t necessarily lead back to an ad product.

Another publisher going this route is The Atlantic’s consulting arm, Atlantic Media Strategies, had similarly branched out. Launched in 2012, AMS has already built websites, redesigned sites and helped companies with their messaging. Last year, it developed a tool it calls Audience Quotient that measures a client’s audience potential. AMS says it’s had around 10 clients buy the AQ tool, contributing 35 percent of its new revenue last year, and that based on that growth, it plans to add to its research arm and launch other diagnostic tools this year.

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