Meet Raptive, a new kind of creator company

Lauren Lauren Lauren Fitzpatrick
Meet Raptive, a new kind of creator company
At a glance
  1. CafeMedia and AdThrive rebranded as Raptive

  2. Raptive works with 4,000+ of the world’s best creators and independent publishers

  3. Raptive ranks as the 7th-largest digital property according to Comscore

  4. Raptive represents more opportunities for creators, publishers, and advertisers.

Meet Raptive, a new kind of creator company transforming creators and enterprise publishers into lasting businesses and powerful brands that compete at the highest levels on their own terms. Raptive replaced CafeMedia and AdThrive, bringing them together as a unified brand and company.

We sat down with Raptive’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Sanchez, and Chief Marketing Officer, Steph Dolgins, to get more on the rebrand.

Tell me about Raptive.

Michael Sanchez (MS): Our company has evolved over the last decade. While we remain the largest ad management company in the world powered by creators, we’ve become so much more. We expanded our services and solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of the 4,000+ premium content creators and enterprise publishers we work with. At the beginning of this year, the company surpassed $2B paid out to creators–all independent, all small businesses, and all amazing humans and entrepreneurs. 

Raptive marks the public transformation of our company. We are dedicated to helping creators earn more money than they can anywhere else, providing resources and solutions to manage and grow their businesses, and helping them navigate a rapidly changing future that includes the emergence of powerful AI, the end of third-party cookies, and more. 

Raptive and the creators we work with are the first and only opportunity for advertisers to access premium creator environments at scale–we’re media, custom content, experiences, and more. We believe creators are the future of media, and Raptive is the place to access the best.

We’ve grown to more than 300+ outstanding team members. Everything we do is focused on ensuring the independent creator succeeds today and in the long run.

Steph Dolgins (SD): Raptive exists to power creator independence. We’re a creator company for the world’s most exciting creators, enterprise publishers, and advertisers. Our new brand and fresh look and feel aligns with our vision to be a catalyst for our creators, propelling them to new heights and equipping them to compete at the highest levels–on their own terms. 

What inspired this move?

MS: We’ve grown exponentially over the last few years. If you had asked us or any of the creators we work with whether we’d rank as the seventh-largest digital property, the answer would be no way. But it is a testament to the incredible creators we work with. They’re trendsetters, iconic brands, and charismatic personalities. Their voices captivate more than 78% of U.S. audiences on their sites alone, and they have the power to move and disrupt culture and build these deeply engaged communities. At the same time, our team has created an industry-leading ad tech stack and best-in-class partnerships that deliver results for advertisers and make creators the most money. 

There needed to be a clear connection between these sides of the business externally, so we wanted to bring together the strength of both sides and position our creators to compete against the largest legacy media companies and the buzziest new creator companies for attention and brand dollars. 

It has been increasingly clear that with our scale and the changes in the industry, we need to play an even larger role in advocating on behalf of our creators. A clear and powerful brand would help us with these efforts.

You call Raptive a creator company that was previously ad management. How does that work?

MS: The core of our business for many years was supporting amazing creators with their advertising. The idea was they should focus on what they are best at—creating great content—and we helped them make a living by ensuring they get the most money from their ads.

Over time, our creators’ businesses grew to extraordinary levels. With that, the demands of running their businesses grew in scope and complexity. In addition to producing amazing content, they needed to be great at SEO, email, social media, developing diverse revenue streams, and bringing on and managing a growing team. Over the last several years, we have been piloting and developing capabilities in all of these areas and more and were able to announce a full set of expanded solutions to serve the wide range of our creators.

We are also at the forefront of industry discussions around privacy, 3rd party cookies, and more. We know big changes are coming to digital media, and we are committed to ensuring the independent creator comes out strong in whatever comes next. What makes us unique and special is our ability to support creators with everything they need to reach new heights. And because of that unique relationship with our creators, we can offer advertisers scaled media opportunities and new ways to access our creators’ premium environments in a way no other company can. 

What is the meaning behind Raptive?

SD: Raptive embodies who we have become—more dynamic, more expansive, and more nimble–and the new visual identity conveys the ambition and energy behind our mission to build a creator-first future. Our new brand, combined with our new visual identity, unifies the way we show up for our creators, enterprise publishers, advertisers, and partners.

The new name, Raptive, is about putting creators at the center of everything we do. “Rapt” is inspired by our creator community. To be rapt is to be passionate, dedicated, fascinated. Our creators show this dedication to their businesses and the incredible content they make; our new brand is inspired by their passion. The “–ive” on the end makes it active. Raptive is where creators can make big moves and reach their next milestone.

When you say creators, what does that mean? Can you give some examples?

SD: “Creators” better captures the breadth and depth of the various roles of the people we serve—creators of amazing content, creators of thriving businesses, creators of communities, and more. We are lucky enough to work with and attract the best, Feel Good Foodie, The Woks of Life, MacRumors, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Inside the Magic, as a few examples. We have a wide array of creators spanning food, family + parenting, lifestyle, home, personal finance, sports, and technology. The creators we work with founded some of the world’s most beloved online brands, with millions of loyal followers on their sites and across their platforms. 

But they’re so much more than that too. They’ve earned numerous accolades and distinctions, including placements on The New York Times Best Sellers list, sold-out speaking tours, top television series, coveted product lines, critical acclaim from top press outlets, and global brand partnerships.

What’s next for Raptive?

MS: We’re excited to continue expanding opportunities for our creators and advertisers. In a few weeks, we’ll be presenting for the first time at the 2023 IAB NewFronts, where Marla Newman, our EVP of Sales, will give the market the first live unveiling of the new brand and our expanded advertising offerings.

We believe in a future where creators are as essential as the large walled gardens and big media companies in the larger digital ecosystem. Their content is better and more authentic, and now advertisers have unique ways to access these premium creator environments at scale.

SD: We also have a lot of events bringing our creators together throughout the year. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in person, building community and aligning with their goals, sharing everything we have planned for them, and working with them one-to-one to achieve their goals. We’re excited about the immense possibilities and opportunities we can unlock together.