As internet marketing has exploded as an industry, so has the demand for engaging branded content. Kevin Bartus saw the opportunity early. Working at Rogers Communications, he noticed that there was a lack of Canadian websites for advertisers. Most advertisers were forced to run ads on US sites, visible to Canadian viewers. This was far from ideal, either for advertisers or consumers. In response, he founded Maple Media in 2010.
Based in Toronto, Maple Media has the benefit of proximity to most of its major advertisers. Today, the company runs a number of successful websites targeted to Canadian audiences of all ages and demographics. Its major properties include 29Secrets.com (the number one lifestyle site for Canadian women ages 18-34), BabyPost.com (a popular parenting website), AmongMen.com (an online men’s magazine), RecipeGeek.com (a premier Canadian online food and lifestyle magazine) and BeautyDesk.com. In 2014, it expanded its line-up with the purchase of SavvyMom.ca and UrbanMoms.ca.
As with most companies starting out, funding was Bartus’ main concern. While private investors were eager to fund technology companies, virtually no one was investing in media. Some government programs existed for broadcasters and print publications, but no one was providing funding for the relatively new sector of online media – except OMDC.
Maple Media has successfully launched a total of five websites with OMDC support. OMDC’s consultative and collaborative approach has been invaluable as Bartus worked to build the company. The proactive and personalized approach of OMDC staff, and especially their willingness to assist with individual questions, gave the Maple Media team the practical support they needed. In turn, they can continue to develop the high-quality branded content that Canadian consumers crave.
“The OMDC has been instrumental in allowing us to create and sustain a Canadian-based digital publishing business. Our advertisers are flooded with entreaties from US-based publishers and platforms, and being able to offer robust Canadian-based advertising opportunities has proven consistently successful, allowing us to create and retain jobs and provide Canadians with significant opportunities to build and expand skills in the growing world of digital media.”
—Kevin Bartus, President & CEO, Maple Media
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