Morning Buzz

Skipper pulls back curtain on Meadowlark strategy

By David Rumsey

Meadowlark Media CEO John Skipper dove into the financials of the company he and Dan Le Batard started this year at SBJ Media Innovators yesterday. “The specific deal we did with DraftKings is a little bit unique,” Skipper explained. “We did not license the show to DraftKings. We own the feed. They took the title sponsorship and they're selling the ad inventory. … As opposed to buying ads on somebody else's media platform, they want to have content that they can monetize so that they're marketing, their cost-per-customer acquisition is lower. So, that's what we're doing for them.”

Skipper called Meadowlark’s first look deal with Apple an “interesting trade-off.” He said, “If you do a first look deal, you, to some extent, are captive at one place. But you're not really because you take the content they don't buy -- nobody can buy everything -- and travel on. But you did do give up the auction.” Skipper said the Apple deal is practically Meadowlark’s “third source of funding” after the Le Batard-DraftKings deal and the nearly $15M Series A funding completed this spring.

The former ESPN president cited his passion for content creation as the top reason he started Meadowlark. He said, “I wanted to do something that I really enjoyed and what I cared about most in my career … is creating content. And there is no better time to be creating content.” Skipper: “There's more need for content right now than there ever has been or ever will be. And it will last for a while, because of the number of players.”

Skipper also touched on several other hot-button issues during his interview, providing a lively conclusion to Day 1 of the conference in N.Y.

Media Innovators will wrap up today in N.Y. with a half-day program. See highlights from Day 1 below.

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