Augustus is a private company, and we are not obligated to release our annual reports publically. However, we believe in transparency internally and have strived to do that externally as well. Previously we published a financial update a couple of years into the business, and now we doing it in a more formal way, with the intention to make it an annual occurrence.
This report includes our year over year performance from 2018 to 2019, but also outlines our company vision and current legal set up, with a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), with full ownership of 3 subsidiaries, one in Saudi Arabia, Augustus KSA, for our operations there, mainly Lovin Saudi, and two in the UAE, Augustus DMCC which covers activities for Lovin Dubai and ODEUM, our content studio, and SMASHI FZ LLC covering our business streaming channel.
Last year we launched SMASHI TV, and added a content studio to our 3 media publications. It was our 4th full year in operation. 2016 was our first full year in business, we also survived in 2017. We then put a 3-year plan in place for 2018, 2019, 2020, aligned with our board and our team. By the end of last year, it was going to plan, the report illustrates that. 2020 was looking promising for us, however, the impact of the global pandemic has had on the business, will be felt in our financial performance. Our goals are now to survive, to ensure or team is healthy and remains largely intact, and to work on the product elements that will make us more robust as a business in future.
We reported how we adapted to Covid-19 to Digiday here, and summarized below
“… (revenue) was down 70% in revenue in March, falling from $311,000 earned in February to $90,000 in last month, with net losses of $80,000, Fitzgerald said. He is now budgeting for $20,000 to $30,000 in losses each month for the next several months going forward. Because of this, Augustus laid off four of its 25 employees and did 15% pay cuts for the remaining 21 staffers on March 12.
In February, Augustus’ revenue breakdown was 94% from branded content and 6% from display advertising. In March, however, Fitzgerald said the split became 80-20 as only 24% of forecasted sales targets were hit and deliverability was down from 90% in February to 18% due to cancelled or paused campaigns.”
We define becoming the new media company of choice in the region through our media brands, by customers and clients choosing to consume our content and work with us. The timeframe around this goal is organic, gradual and perpetual, we believe our business legal structure gives us the right framework for local subsidiaries through owned, acquired or partnership entities.
Our commercial focus continues to be on diversified media model, however, we have defined that further to (1) Content, (2) Advertising, (3) Direct to Consumer. We are working towards that, quarter by quarter, during 2020, with a view to completing this year’s plan, with as much progress as possible, and towards creating a new 3 -to-5 year business plan starting in 2021.
Richard Fitzgerald, CEO & Founder of Augustus Media, 15.05.2020.