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Number of locations
|Bali, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Yangon|
Coconuts Media is a multi-national media company across Asia that publishes a network of local city websites and documentary videos online. The company serves eight cities and countries across South East Asia, namely Bangkok. Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bali and Yangon, covering local news and cultural trends. using social media and video to increase reach. In addition to English, the company produces content in Thai and Bahasa.
The core focus of operations is articles including local news and reviews, original features, aggregated content, event guides, restaurant reviews, and translations, in an often humorous voice.
Coconuts Media employs around 40 staff members as of August 2016, half of which are in editorial. In 2015, it had a reported total monthly reach of 14.6 million unique readers across all platforms.
In 2016, Coconuts Hong Kong Managing Editor Laurel Chor won a SOPA for Excellence in Feature Photography in Category B for a profile of Mui Thomas, a young Hong Kong woman with harlequin ichthyosis, a very rare and debilitating skin disease.
Coconuts media is said to have been inspired by US-based blogs such as the Gothamist network and New York's Gawker, as well as Buzzfeed and Vice. The company was founded by American journalist and entrepreneur Byron Perry, out of his Bangkok apartment in September 2011, with Perry reportedly self publishing nearly all the articles himself in the first months.
Perry started his career in journalism as the Editorial Fellow for San Francisco Magazine before moving on to a copy editor at Hollywood trade magazine Variety in Los Angeles. At Variety, he covered movie premieres; wrote the "Players" column on actor castings and "Tenpercenteries" column on talent agency signings; and attended the 2008 Academy Awards as part of Variety’s coverage team. After a brief stint as the Siam Reap Reporter for Cambodia’s English-language newspaper of record, The Phnom Penh Post, Perry moved to Thailand to work for Ensign Media as Executive Editor for real estate trade magazine Property Report and yachting magazine Helm. After a year and a half at Ensign Media, Perry launched Coconuts Media in 2011.
Coconuts Media launched in its first international branch in Manila in November 2012, ahead of further expansion into Singapore in August 2013. One month later, it launched a regional office in Hong Kong.
Coconuts Media produces in-house and freelance videos as Coconuts TV, with an average of 20,000 to 30,000 views per video. Aside from short reports and original documentaries, Coconuts TV produces news, food, and travel reports, aimed at international audiences.
ABS-CBN News partnership
In March 2015, Coconuts Media signed a two-year content partnership with ABS-CBN, allowing both parties to exchange news, features and video content on their respective platforms. ABS-CBN said it hoped the deal with help them gain more granular coverage, especially in Southeast Asia, while Coconuts Media said it wanted to expand its coverage of hard news and sports.
Funding and revenue
A year after the launch of Coconuts Bangkok in 2011, the company reportedly raised a small and undisclosed round of Angel funding from private investors in Silicon Valley. They would later go on to report a second round in 2013 after the launch of Coconuts Manila, before scoring a more substantial $2 million round in 2014.
The main sources of revenue for Coconuts Media are reported to be traditional online banner ads, sponsored content and video content, with some footage having been sold to unnamed European TV channels.
In 2015-2016, Coconuts Media produced a sponsored content package for Thailand’s Singha beer, for which Coconuts TV produced a 12-episode video series on its food channel. Coconuts Media also uses pre-roll ads for onsite videos.
Coconuts media reportedly made almost $500,000 in revenue in 2015, with projected revenues in excess of $1 Million for the year of 2016
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