by Sarah Sluis
// Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 – 12:05 am Fatherly CEO Michael Rothman, a veteran of Thrillist, envisioned a branded content-focused publication, with maybe a sideline of commerce via product licensing (not the JackThreads variety). Programmatic was out as an option.

“We are at a place where audience doesn’t grow at a pace where you can survive with programmatic as your sole source of revenue,” Rothman said. Although platforms like Facebook and Google used to enable publishers to amass scale quickly enough to make display advertising profitable, that’s no longer the case, he said.

To build a branded content business, Rothman sought uncharted territory: content for dads. “The market has traditionally assumed that most men will only engage through sports or humor,” he said.

Fatherly’s 500,000 email subscribers, 3 million Facebook followers and 5 million monthly visitors (according to internal analytics) prove otherwise. Fatherly’s branded content focus has attracted investors such as ad agency WPP, VC firm BDMI and talent agency UTA.

Fatherly raised a $4 million Series A last fall, two years after it was founded and raised $2 million in seed funding. Rothman spoke to AdExchanger about how Fatherly’s 55-person team is meeting the changing needs of advertisers and diversifying its revenue. Read more from…

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