Gawker mobile app, increased video production coming in 2015

"Slow and steady wins the race" could be Nick Denton's new motto.

The owner of Gawker Media, which publishes blogs like Gawker, Deadspin and Jezebel, said his company's focus on profitability over taking on venture capital has resulted in a more deliberate approach to innovation than some of its peers.

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But for 2015, Gawker plans to pick up the pace. The company will release its first mobile app, through which viewers can view content from across its network of blogs, as well as comment and blog themselves, Denton said on Tuesday evening at the Code/Media conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Nick Denton
Asa Mathat | Re/code
Nick Denton

This year will also see Gawker start producing a lot more video clips, which Denton said will have a bloggy feel that could resemble the "Fifty Shades of Grey" spoof that was published on Jezebel earlier this week.

"We wait until we have a good idea and a good revenue model before we pursue strategies, because we are independent and we are profitable and [don't want to be] frittering away tens of millions of dollars of venture capital," Denton said.

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The Code/Mobile appearance comes a few months after Denton led a major restructuring of the New York City-based company, elevating Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs to the company's top editorial spot, and promoting Heather Dietrick and Erin Pettigrew to president and head of strategy, respectively.

The moves were a result of Denton's dissatisfaction with the sites, which he partially blamed on himself. But as Peter Kafka, who interviewed Denton on Tuesday, previously explained, there's other context that helps explain the challenges Gawker currently faces.

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"The truth is that part of what has happened to Gawker Media over the past few years is that the stuff that used to be specific to Gawker Media — both in tone and substance — now appears in lots of other places, including at well-funded competitors like BuzzFeed and Vox Media," Kafka wrote.

Denton, for his part, doesn't believe there's one right approach to building a successful media company for the next generation of readers.

"One of the playbooks is definitely viral videos, stunts, listicles … with Facebook as the primary distribution method," Denton said in an obvious nod to BuzzFeed.

On the other side, Gawker is betting big on its commenting platform, called Kinja, which also lets readers start up their own blogs within Gawker Media sites. Denton called such interactions with readers a "precondition" for digital media companies to find large-scale success.

"What it is is what every single media company needs to do."

For additional coverage of Code/Media, visit Re/code.

By Jason Del Rey, Re/

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