Digital First Media Opens New Revenue Streams with Outbrain Smartfeed

Entertainment/Media|Maximize RPMs

Digital First Media is a leader in local, multi-platform news and information, distinguished by its award-winning, original content and diversified portfolio of local media assets including The Denver Post, The Mercury News, and The Orange County Register.


The challenge for Digital First Media was to build greater customer lifetime value through deepened engagement and increase revenue across their portfolio of sites.
Its main goal was to expand revenue sources and drive RPMs while boosting internal recirculation traffic.


Using Smartfeed, Digital First Media was able to create an optimal mix of paid and organic content in an endless feed layout, creating a continuous stream of fresh content for readers to discover. Readers were enthralled with their personalized content discovery feed and motivated to stay on the sites and apps longer, and with greater engagement.

Digital-First- Solution


Digital First Media saw results immediately after implementing Smartfeed. On average, bounce rates from Outbrain referral traffic were 34% less and session duration time was 158% greater compared to other sources. Engaging Smartfeed elements included a comments section on desktop and a carousel feature for organic content on mobile.

This engagement led to higher CTRs for both paid and organic content (using Outbrain organic recommendations).

Active reader engagement and loyalty translated into higher RPMs. Desktop saw a 20-50% average RPM lift and mobile had a 30% lift in RPM, leading to ever-increasing revenue gains for Digital First Media.

“With a modest amount of effort, the implementation of Outbrain Smartfeed allowed us to deliver a much more personalized experience to our readers. The ability to A/B test multiple variants has not only provided meaningful data to further enhance our engagement tactics but even more, drive direct revenue. ”

Brian Vigil, Director of Digital Product Technologies, Digital First Media