When serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk bought PureWow in early 2017, the plan was to use the women’s lifestyle media company to launch a suite of brands under the leadership of its CEO Ryan Harwood.
After about 16 months tinkering under the hood, “Gallery Media Group” is finally having its coming-out party with the introduction of a new men’s brand called One37pm (stylized “ONE37pm“), which will focus on pop-culture topics like style, music, and sports, through “the lens of entrepreneurship.”
This isn’t a business publication, strictly speaking. “Entrepreneurship,” in this case, is meant to signify the broader mindset of how its intended audience approaches life, rather than a focus on specific business pursuits (“the grind,” as Harwood put it to Business Insider in a recent interview).
At its core, One37pm is an aspirational brand that will aim to capture the collision of worlds like tech, professional sports, and hip hop.
“They all want to be entrepreneurs,” Harwood said of various pop-culture luminaries.
There’s a reason One37pm has such an odd name
The name One37pm is meant to evoke a single, random minute of the day (1:37 p.m.).
“You have to be prepared to own your minute at any moment,” Harwood said, explaining what the brand would try and convey to its 18-29 male audience.
Though Harwood will oversee One37pm, and all the brands in Gallery Media Group, it’s hard not to see Vaynerchuk’s kinetic, go-go-go persona reflected in the ethos.
“Gary embodies a lot of these qualities,” Harwood agreed.
Another person who comes to mind is tech billionaire Elon Musk, and indeed one of the products debuting at launch is a daily briefing for Amazon’s Alexa called “Musk Listen,” which will “update you daily on what The Musk is up to.”
No negative stories or snark
One thing you won’t see on One37pm, nor on PureWow, is a negative story. The motto of Gallery Media Group generally is “make positivity louder.”
“We are not going to be tearing down anyone,” Harwood said. “We are going to have strong opinions or voice … [but we are] not going to be snarky.” If One37pm thinks someone is full of hot air, a common occurrence in the entrepreneurship space, it will not write about them.
One37pm will also not try to present itself as an “authority,” Hardwood said (“we are not going to do it in the GQ way”). Instead, it will be more of a booster of ideas and people that resonate with its editors. “Look at these two kids who created a backpack brand,” for instance, Harwood continued.
No wall between editorial and advertising
There will also not be the traditional journalistic divide between advertising and editorial teams (though Gallery Media Group brands are separate from VaynerMedia, which both exist under VaynerX).
“There is no church and state wall,” Harwood said, which is also how PureWow operates. “The whole theory is great content should be great content whether a brand pays for it or not,” he said, though it will be labeled as such per FTC regulations. This sidesteps a potential concern about a publisher being owned by an agency, since if there is no wall to begin with, there is no wall to protect.
Vaynerchuk described the branded content as a “cosign from the logo.” Branded content has been an integral part of PureWow as well, accounting for 85% of revenue when Vaynerchuk bought the company.
“We do not want a separate team creating the branded content,” Harwood said. At launch, there will be 5-7 editors working on One37pm, he added.
This time Vayner is building a media brand rather than buying
One37pm is launching at an uncertain time for digital media, with a rocky advertising market and unreliable Facebook traffic for many outlets, but Harwood thinks he has an effective strategy in place.
PureWow “revenue is growing double digits year-over-year still,” he said. When PureWow sold to Vaynerchuk in early 2017, Harwood said the company had been profitable for several years with about 30% margins. A source familiar with the matter said PureWow generated around $20 million in 2016.
“Our business model isn’t predicated on selling against a programmatic landscape,” Vaynerchuk said.
PureWow has stayed at around 11 million monthly unique visitors (via ComScore) since Vaynerchuk bought it, though Harwood said it has “grown social footprint over 5x.”
Harwood said he doesn’t want to aggressively scale PureWow (or One37pm), which would be a tough proposition anyway given the focus on native advertising and individualized brand deals.
Instead, the goal is to assemble a bunch of PureWows targeted at different audiences (like a traditional magazine publisher portfolio, or that of a company like Vox Media).
As to potential M&A, Harwood said the company is agnostic in “build versus buy.”
“It’s very possible in a year from now [we’ll] buy a media brand,” he said.
“Most things are overpriced right now,” however, Vaynerchuk said.
FaceTime and Belvedere
What you will see on day one from One37pm?
The brand will launch with a set of social channels — Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook — and a podcast sponsored by Belvedere vodka called “Live from the Bar Cart.” One of the first podcast guests will be YouTube star Casey Neistat, who also very much embodies the brand spirit.
The landing page will be live at One37pm.com, but the website will launch a month later.
One social-media franchise Harwood and Vaynerchuk pointed to as particularly representative of the brand is called “#face2facetime,” in which One37pm editors will do 1-5 minute FaceTime interviews with notable people. The idea is to get their “hot take in that moment,” Harwood said, to get in the head of someone who is “grinding right now.”
Mary Kate McGrath, the head of content for Gallery Media Group, said she seeing the brand as “filling a white space” in the market, particularly because of its focus on young men.
But Harwood said One37pm is just the start.
With a “VC-backed or public company, you think in 90-day terms,” Harwood said. “For the first time in my career, I’m able to think long term.”