Monthly Archives: March 2014

Metromode/Oakland County Prosper: Carbon Media Group Hires 30, Expands Outdoor Related Digital Content Focus

Carbon Media Group is not trying to keep its growth slow and steady. The digital media firm is in the midst of taking a couple of big steps forward.

The Bingham Farms-based company has hired 30 people since the beginning of 2013, more than doubling its staff to 56 employees. It is looking to add some interns this summer. Many of the new jobs included positions in software development, account management, business development, sales, content writing and editing.

“We’re getting ready for a big growth year in 2014,” says Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of Carbon Media Group.

For most of its first seven years, Carbon Media Group focused on digital advertising. Think banner ads, aimed at outdoors enthusiasts. It has since expanded its scope to include agriculture and action sports, like snowboarding or rock climbing. It is now working to become the largest digital content producer for the outdoor sporting world.

“It’s really a growth in the breadth of the business,” Chaudhary says.

Carbon Media Group now helps coordinate advertising and content creation for more than 600 websites for fans of the outdoors, agriculture and action sports/events/activities. It also has an extensive network of outdoor-related YouTube channels and its own CarbonTV outlet for online videos about the outdoors.

That expansion has allowed Carbon Media Group to grow its revenue by 33 percent in 2013. It is on track to hit its goal of 60-percent revenue growth this year, an expansion that should allow the firm to continuing hiring at a brisk pace.

Source: Metromode

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The Detroit News: Bingham Farms Based Firm Taps in to Outdoor Lifestyle Online

Hoping to capture more advertisers and the eyes of outdoor enthusiasts, Bingham Farms-based Carbon Media Group recently launched its own online video network with the goal of producing new shows to air this summer.

CarbonTV offers one-of-a-kind “outdoor lifestyle” shows on its online network such as “Kings of Game,” which follows two wild-game hunting brothers, and “Growing Season,” which follows a farming family through the ups and downs of agricultural life. All of the shows are free at the CarbonTV website, and many are short eight- to 10-minute episodes designed for mobile viewers.

carbon-media-group-outdoor-media-agency-carbontvSites like CarbonTV join other outdoors-themed efforts to bring more tourism and enthusiasm to Michigan. Last month, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which operates the “Pure Michigan” campaign, teamed up with the Outdoor Channel to do ads around “Jack Link’s Major League Fishing,” the network’s bass fishing competition series.

The growth of original programming from outlets such as Netflix and the popularity of shows like “Duck Dynasty” make Carbon Media Group believe there is a significant and profitable future in outdoor programming, said Mark Sawicki, executive vice president.

“Cable channels such as A&E, Bravo and the Discovery channels have already proven already that there’s a high interest in that marketplace and what we’re doing. What we’re focused on is taking it to the next level,” Sawicki said.

Founder David Farbman launched Carbon Media Group in 2007. It is now the largest producer of digital content for outdoor, action and agriculture enthusiasts, with more than 500 websites. They include Veggiegardner.com and Backyard chickens.com. The firm says it generates more than 22 million visitors per month.

Having this network along with its other popular website found through its Ag Hub, Action Hub and Outdoor Hub has grown Carbon Media Group to more than 55 employees in 2013, Sawicki said. The company plans to add 25 people this year in sales, marketing and operations, he added.

“We’re excited to launch a lot of new shows,” Sawicki said. “We expect people will feel engaged and really enjoy what we’re putting out there.”

Since its soft launch last fall, CarbonTV.com has grown to include more than 30 outdoor lifestyle shows from hunting and mountain biking to farming and fishing, including “Buck Commander,” “On Your Own Adventures with Randy Newberg” and “Heartland Bow Hunter.” All content is free, and users can sign up to be notified as soon as new episodes of their favorite shows are posted.

Industry experts say Carbon Media Group is making the right moves by tapping into a sweet spot. Outdoor recreation is a “significant economic driver” in the U.S. said the Outdoor Industry Association, a trade group based in Boulder, Colo.

The OIA estimates Michigan outdoor recreation generates $18.7 billion in consumer spending annually. At least 63 percent of Michigan residents participate in outdoor recreation each year; that number does not include hunting, fishing or wildlife viewing, the OIA said. Nationally, consumers spent $646 billion on outdoor recreation.

Retailers who cater to outdoor enthusiasts also are seeing profits in people’s desire to experience the Great Outdoors. REI, the nation’s leading specialty retailer of outdoor gear and apparel, achieved record annual sales of $2 billion in 2013, up 5.9 percent from the previous year, the company said Monday. Comparable store sales, considered the best judge of a chain’s health, were up 2.9 percent.

Things have changed dramatically in the “outdoor reality” arena since the days when “Babe Winkleman’s Good Fishing” was one of the few shows on the air, Sawicki said. “Audiences today want to be wowed in this kind of environment. By working with the producers and generating the content, we can be a little more cutting edge. Our target demographic is typically the 18-55 age group, and the younger outdoor enthusiast is looking for something cool and different.”

That is why CarbonTV is in the midst of adding shows, hopefully by summer, Sawicki added.

“We’re going to be constantly bringing new content, new personalities to CarbonTV and make it one of the primary sources for engaging digital content online,” Sawicki said.

[Karen Dybis is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.]

Source: The Detroit News

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Luke Capizzo
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Crain’s Detroit Business/DBusiness Press Release: Carbon Media Names Chris Cunningham New Director of Strategic Services

BINGHAM FARMS — Carbon Media Group, a producer of digital content for outdoor enthusiasts, has hired Chris Cunningham as Director of Strategic Services.

Chris CunninghamIn his new role, Cunningham will work directly with clients to maximize their digital advertising programs and conceptualize new, strategic opportunities within the digital space. He will also work with both new and potential clients to identify the innovative ways to best position their services with Carbon Media Group’s audiences of hunters, fishers, skiers, hikers, and more. Previously, Cunningham worked at Birmingham-based Universal McCann, last serving as Vice President, Digital Portfolio Management.

He graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.

Additionally, Carbon Media also announced the addition of three new account management team. Linde Hutson will serve as Vice President, Account Solutions. Hutson previously worked as a Client Business Partner at Universal McCann. Michelle Gawley and Rachel Edmunds will act as Account Directors. Both Gawley and Edmunds previously worked as Client Services Managers for the Detroit office of Organic Inc.

Source: DBusiness

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Luke Capizzo
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