Traditional print media is under unprecedented pressure, being replaced by efficient and fast-moving digital publication platforms. Whereas magazines were once well-branded, filled with colorful pages and high-quality editorial content, they are now only a slim representation of their former glory. Savvy company executives should have foreseen that a seismic shift was imminent given the exponential growth of the digital space. Traditional mindsets–not stubborn so much as just skeptical–thought their one-hundred-page magazines were firmly implanted into the fabric of future generations and that the internet was for pornography. This ethos was pervasive, steadfast and hilariously encapsulated in the long-running Broadway musical, Avenue Q; in this Tony Award-winning send-up of Sesame Street, one of the puppets strikes it rich in online porn and leads the cast in the show’s most rollicking song, “The Internet Is For Porn.” As it happened, the puppets and the print media acolytes were wrong.
Over the years, the failure to innovate on the part of traditional media is and will be their ultimate end. Missing a significant opportunity within their fundamental sector allowed companies like Jerrick Media (OTCMKTS: JMDA), with their Vocal platform (https://vocal.media), to position themselves as a cutting-edge alternative to traditional publishing. If JMDA continues on its growth trajectory, they should have the capability to ultimately replace the vacancies left by weakened publications – yes, like TIME and NEWSWEEK.
In Vocal, Jerrick Media has created something unprecedented–an efficient long-form publishing platform–and, in so doing, has staked its claim as both a leading content publisher as well as an outlet for content creators to be financially rewarded for their work.
JMDA Gets “Vocal”, and Users Are Listening
YouTube may offer home-grown video spots, and Facebook may offer some ads, but Vocal, through its innovative publication style, offers well-placed images and unique GIFs to attract readers and content providers alike. A quick visit to the Vocal.media homepage demonstrates the value of keeping content fresh, vibrant, and user-friendly.
Beyond being aesthetically pleasing to readers, though, Vocal gives long-form content creators both the opportunity to publish across a diverse platform and the ability to monetize their work and build a loyal following from interested readers.
As of now, JMDA and its Vocal platform appear to be the only group that is aggressively targeting this population of content providers, which makes the company both original and valuable. But, it’s more than just the unique and creative content offered through Vocal that is contributing to the platform’s sharp rise in user growth. JMDA’s real value proposition, in fact, lies in Vocal’s ability to connect with brands and support their native advertising strategies. This represents a proven and rapidly growing source of revenue for Jerrick.
Listen To The Sound Of “Vocal”
Being different is good, but being disruptive is even better. Vocal, a creation of Jerrick Media, allows content creators to seamlessly upload their creative work to over 30 genre-specific Vocal communities. In other words, unlike sites owned by Twitter, Facebook, or Google, content creators on Vocal can quickly upload original content into specific channels, avoiding the “clutter” that plagues most competing sites. Vocal is providing a fundamentally innovative and fresh approach to publishing social media content, and their vision is generating notice from readers and creators alike.
Vocal’s network consists of more than 30 genre-specific communities, thereby attracting users toward individualized interests without compromising the built-in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) inherent in its architecture. The Vocal platform’s innovative technology can “learn” from its user base content and, in turn, allows JMDA to utilize the analytics drawn to integrate additional creative features to offer a superior user experience, with the innate ability to always match the content creator with the right audience. Although Vocal is rather intuitive to use from a contributor’s perspective, the platform relies on its algorithmically-driven SEO capability to improve the organic ranking of creators’ names and articles. The benefits Vocal offers to content creators are tremendous, and while the Vocal platform may facilitate front-page rankings on Google, Bing, and other popular search engines, the cost to upload content onto the Vocal platform is free to all content providers.
Since December of 2016, the growth at Vocal has been impressive. Looking to the fourth quarter of 2017, for instance, Vocal supported more than 200,000 active content creators, with roughly 50,000 of those sign-ups occurring in the last two months of that quarter. The site traffic is extremely impressive as well, with contributor stories generating page views of more than 6,300,000 per month. These site users are treated to more than 600 unique and exclusive stories per day, making Vocal one of the leading long-form content platforms. But, the growth at JMDA, and Vocal, did not happen by accident.
What Made Vocal So Popular, So Quickly?
Having devised a niche-oriented strategy, the management team at JMDA designed a platform to address three fundamental shortfalls facing content creators and publishers. When recognizing these current industry limitations, they strategically positioned JMDA to disrupt an industry that is dominated by legacy platforms like WordPress, which offer limited functionality for modern creators. Here’s what JMDA did differently.
First, the Vocal platform faces the challenge of an individual’s difficulty in reaching a sizable and targeted audience. Website owners and bloggers are at a significant disadvantage in trying to increase reach, and even when they publish on established platforms such as Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), they often find that challenge of broadening their audience is no easy task and can take several years to build.
Recognizing certain limitations, JMDA management saw the demand for a tool that can fill a need in the market. The Vocal platform is built to meet particular challenges head-on and establish an alternative to existing platforms that often lack the architecture to maximize search engine optimization. Hence, when content providers uploaded their content, they often found that their website did not interact efficiently with the algorithms in place at Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Yahoo (NASDAQ: AABA), or almost any other established search engine. Thus, if the content is hard to find, it holds far less value and receives considerably less viewership. Vocal allows contributors to concentrate on what they do best–create.
Finally, JMDA management knew that in building Vocal, they had to incorporate an attractive monetization tool for its providers. For those who try to publish on their own, making money may prove to be extremely challenging. In fact, generating revenue from website ownership is far more difficult than it appears, and with a tide of changes in search engine variables frequently occurring, the chase to make money can be an unrelenting endeavor. Understanding that current website advertising programs are in decline, Vocal is built to benefit users by viewing creators as partners and giving them the ability to secure multiple methods to monetize on their work.
Multiple Revenue Sources
Vocal’s in-house creative agency, Vocal for Brands, builds valuable partnerships with contributors, brands, and marketers alike. Notably, many investors believe that the power of their advanced platform, coupled with an experienced in-house agency team, is the secret-sauce for propelling Vocal’s user base growth, and will be a defining feature in maximizing the profit potential for JMDA.
Yet another revenue generating opportunity is JMDA’s affiliate marketing and sales program, looking to capitalize from the thousands of affiliate relationships with merchants that will provide additional revenue to Vocal from sales derived from content on its platform.
Taking On A Powerful Industry
Having a strong management team in place is essential to not only grow the business but to anticipate and respond to competitive challenges. Bringing more than 20 years of experience to JMDA, Founder and CEO Jeremy Frommer is a strong leader who is utilizing his expertise in the institutional financial services and technology space to leverage JMDA’s strengths and current market position. The management team, led by Mr. Frommer, is accomplishing those goals and missions, and it’s only a matter of time before the markets notice.
Looking Ahead And Recognizing Opportunity
For investors, the stock at current levels may offer a tremendous value opportunity. Too often, a share price does not reflect the fundamental value of a company, and the stock price given to JMDA is no exception. Now that Vocal is fully launched and attracting a significant and growing user base, the stock price might soon build into a more realistic value that is representative of the known growth and disruptive potential of the Vocal platform.
If the momentum recorded in the last half of 2017 continues, JMDA and Vocal may quickly benefit from the inherent value from its robust platform, state-of-the-art design features, and the unique ability to attract users organically. Investors may be right to expect that the momentum at Vocal will continue its run of exponential growth as more features are implemented and upgraded to attract new readers, creators, and authors. With a share price that makes little sense to many investors, a consideration for investing into an upcoming social media platform that is already positioned to become an industry model for success might be a good idea. And, once prosperous, those savvy investors can publish their gratitude on Vocal.media.
This article was originally featured on CNA Finance.