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Building the Biggest New Media Properties of Our Times

RebelMouse has a unique and ever-growing advantage through the mix of technology we've built, the amount of sites we power, and the relationships we have with our clients. We built off the founding team's knowledge — from their experience of building HuffPost — to create something truly exciting. Two of the most exciting new media breakout hits — The Dodo and Axios — were built by RebelMouse when they were just ideas. The Dodo now has their claim to fame with one of the most popular videos on Facebook ever, and every month brings in billions of Facebook views. Axios, launched only in January of this year, has become a traffic monster — racking up 80M+ page views a month. Now we've taken on Odyssey Online, and have grown it by 4M new users in the first 45 days alone.

We're not just a technology company, and we're not just a design agency either. We don't only do strategy work by offering advice. We build alongside you — the concepts, ideas, and cultures that can break out to be huge media hits.


It's hard to survive the complex world of media in 2017. Between juggling Facebook's constant algorithm updates, the fake news epidemic, and the competition for ad dollars, success doesn't come easy.

The media world is ever-evolving, but one thing is abundantly clear: Facebook and Google, the almighty duopoly, have a firm grip on digital ad revenue. While successful media companies and brands struggle to meet revenue goals, the platforms are reaching new heights. As the state of digital media continues to puzzle publishers in 2017, it can be hard to strategize with all the changes and updates these mega platforms throw our way.

We often see media companies frantically trying to adopt a new strategy to monetize without knowing how to successfully execute. Case in point: The great pivot to video, which was really more like a pivot to ad-backed digital media, caused editorial teams to take drastic measures prematurely.

Some media properties are seeing reach and traffic plummet, while others — like Axios — continue to flourish. But it's not luck. Axios and other powerful new media darlings understand that to be successful, you have to adapt and find a strategy that works in the age of social. This means creating a platform that will propel you into the future, and having a partner that can help navigate the acceleration of history.

RebelMouse is that platform and partner.

Our centralized, social CMS was born in the age of social. We're constantly updating, iterating, and helping properties grow at mind-boggling rates. We're experts in content and distribution, and can help you create a sustainable business built with social growth and loyal, lasting communities.

It's how we built the biggest pop culture hits of our time. You can see this clearly with The Dodo, Axios, and the continual growth of Odyssey Online.

Building Massive, Unprecedented Reach: The Dodo

The Dodo revolutionized (and even normalized) the way we share and obsess over animals. You're guaranteed to find a much-needed dose of cuteness scrolling through your Facebook News Feed at any given hour.

And even though tons of media properties look to drive our emotions with animals, few have had the outstanding success that The Dodo has.

Founder Izzie Lerer wanted to create a participatory community platform around animals, so she needed a platform that would make amplifying the social-sharing experience easy to do. RebelMouse provided the foundation for this success.

The Dodo continues to crush it on Facebook with billions of views and shares per month.

Building Loyalty at Scale: How Axios Built on RebelMouse

The Axios founding team had a vision for building a next-generation media site that would not only win in the world of social, but also build real loyalty and a subscriber base.

With some of the best writers in the world, Axios knew that, to be successful, they would need to provide next-generation authoring tools as well as a next-generation front-end experience for their readers. Axios was able to work with RebelMouse to build exactly to the vision the founders had when they set off on their journey.

Axios grew rapidly, skyrocketing to 40M+ page views per month just three months after launch. They're also seeing a bounce rate under 15%.

Odyssey Online Transforms Their Technology for Their Next Wave of Growth

Our powerful, data-driven solution, strategy-level consultation, and personal relationships are bringing in game-changing results. After re-platforming with RebelMouse, Odyssey is seeing serious stats.

Within the first month, Odyssey's new users have increased by over 25% — adding nearly two million new users in total. And their story continues to get stronger.

Add your name to the list of influential new media properties — like The Dodo, Axios, and Odyssey — and join RebelMouse. Even if you can't re-platform today, you can take advantage of strategy services from our experts to help guide you toward a path of growth and revenue.

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subscription model for publishers
Content Strategy

In 2022, Publishers Take Back Control With Subscription Success

Users are ready to pay for content that delivers

The Rise of the Mature User

It's been a long and winding path, but in 2022 the subscription model continues its upward trajectory as a top revenue strategy for publishers of all sizes. The tug of war between platforms and publishers reached its peak in the last few years of the previous decade, leaving users desperate for a modern user experience that's clear of any clutter from the duopoly that is Google and Facebook. This is why intelligent paywall models are a top choice for users looking to consume content right from the source. When done correctly, the strategy can work for any type of media. The New York Times, a frequent showpiece example of the power of paywalls, is constantly reporting record-busting subscription numbers, with 7.6 million digital subscriptions in 2021.

And it all makes perfect sense. The subscription model eliminates the middleman — such as the platforms — so readers get the experience and content they want, and publishers get the cash they need.

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People on a train station
Rebel Insights

RebelMouse Q1 2021 Platform Updates

Speed, performance, and Core Web Vitals enhancements

Click here to read our Q2 2021 platform performance updates!

At RebelMouse, we pour our souls into making sure that our platform is always the most modern, high-performance CMS on the market. In fact, we invested over $100,000 worth of hours into our platform in Q1 2021 alone. This has resulted in updates and performance enhancements that publishers would have to pay for on their own to make happen on any other platform, such as WordPress. We're proud to be at a level of scale where we can invest this way into our platform, and we will continue to invest at this rate every quarter moving forward just as we have in the past.

Here are the major updates that we've added to the platform in Q1.

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The Subscription Model Is Taking off and Competition Has Never Been Steeper
Rebel Insights

The Subscription Model Is Taking off and Competition Has Never Been Steeper

The post-pandemic user landscape is still ripe for subscription revenue

You can get a subscription for everything these days. Whether it’s a cheese-of-the-month club or annual access to read your favorite content, the subscription-based model has continued to gain steam in recent years. In fact, the market for digital subscriptions is valued at $650 billion according to a new report from Lineup, a subscription management solution.

The power of the subscription model has been growing since even before the COVID-19 crisis began, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing as we enter a post-pandemic landscape. According to What’s New in Publishing, Gannett reported a 46% year-over-year increase in digital subscriptions in November 2021, putting them at 1.5M total subscribers. Hearst grew its digital subscriptions by 50% in 2021.

But subscriptions aren’t just for big name publishers. Users in 2022 are ready to pay up for legacy names and new media companies alike, as long as it’s for an experience that’s beneficial to them, reliable, and free of the clutter that can come from third-party platforms. Speaking of platforms, even TikTok and Instagram have started to gauge their audiences’ temperature on subscription experiences. So, the competition has never been steeper for publishers looking to build a subscriber base. Unfortunately, launching a simple paywall may not be enough.

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Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty
Rebel Insights

Engagement on the Rise: Why It’s Your Ticket to Loyalty

New data from Chartbeat shows engagement time is increasing despite traffic dips

Getting users to your site is only half the battle. For publishers, it’s now become more critical to focus on how long those users stay on your site — and if they ever come back. Q1 2022 data analyzed by Chartbeat found that engagement is on the rise, even though metrics like pageviews and mobile traffic experienced a decline.

Chartbeat measures engaged time by the “amount of time that readers spend actively engaging with a page — scrolling, clicking, or moving their mouse.” With this in mind, their data showed that most regions in the world registered an average of 30 seconds of engaged time on site in Q1. Readers in Latin America led the results with an average of 34.7 seconds of engaged time.

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