What Iconic Labs does
The company is headed by chief executive John Quinlan and chief business officer Liam Harrington, the founders of social first publishing site UNILAD, currently one of the biggest news and entertainment sites in the world, with around 42mln followers on its Facebook page.
Iconic’s current focus is on expanding its own content platform as well as a portfolio of digital brands and products through both acquisitions and organic growth.
How it's doing
For the six months ended 31 December, 2019, the company reported a loss of £848,233, down from a £1.18mln loss a year ago, while also recording revenues of £2,500.
Iconic said that “significant progress” had been made in putting together core elements from which it can “implement the strategy of building a new media and technology business”, and that going forward it will be focusing on “organic growth based upon deploying the team's skills and commercial experience in the sector alongside acquiring publishing platforms which we can leverage to sell those skills”.
Iconic also said that with more people staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak, it is “confident” of seeing a “long term increase in demand for its online publishing content and platforms”.
- In late March, the company launched Infotagion: Covid-19, an online and social media fact checking service to counter misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic
- The company's recent acquisition Gay Star News has signed a content and marketing agreement with an unnamed sports and entertainment presenter, a major international airline and a UK wealth management business
- In early March, the company said it expects growth to continue “significantly” across 2020
- In late Janaury, the firm relaunched its GSN news website
Executive Interview – CEO John Quinlan
The attractiveness of social first publishing isn’t lost on advertisers, who are increasingly moving away from traditional platforms to target the rapidly expanding social media user base.
Given that around 2.8bn people use social media, that is a massive audience to service.
However, with such a huge web of platforms, all with their own content types and algorithms, most advertisers are likely to need specialists who can help navigate the digital landscape.
That’s where firms like Iconic Labs come in, with Quinlan saying one of the company’s unique selling points is their top team’s experience of not just helping others operate in the space but working in it themselves while at UNILAD.
“Our key skill is using social media tools for what they’re meant for, discovering new things and building brands.”
With digital advertising spend expected to increase to US$335bn in 2020 from US$270bn in 2018, expertise in social first seems set to become even more sought after.