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Kargo unveils its new Fabrik publishing system

Anthony Ha
·2-min read

Digital advertising company Kargo is launching a new product and new business unit called Fabrik.

Founder and CEO Harry Kargman explained that Fabrik is a content management system designed for publishers' modern needs and integrated with Kargo's advertising technology.

Kargman suggested that he sees this as part of Kargo's broader mission of "saving publishing." That might seem like a tall order for an ad business, but he said the company has tried to do that "by driving extraordinary ad experiences and monetization." And yet, he's come to realize, "That's not enough."

In particular, Kargman came to realize that many websites have "too much weight" and load far too slowly (to illustrate his point, he loaded the TechCrunch homepage, and it was indeed slower than I would like). This drives readers away and also has a detrimental effect on Google search rankings.

So the goal with Fabrik is to create a "lightning fast" web experience, which you can see for yourself on the OK Magazine website. Fabrik says that one of the key steps to achieving this speed is by eliminating the need for third-party trackers and plugins — in fact, Kargman described plugins as "the death of the internet" and told me he often asks publishers, "Do you want to make money, or do you want to have a lot of plugins?"

"We built it for Google's best practices and the core Web Vitals," added COO Michael Shaughnessy. "We're very strategic about how we load items that would really slow us down."

This launch comes as many publishers are exploring business models beyond advertising, such as subscriptions and memberships. Shaughnessy suggested that Fabrik is complementary to those efforts, because it's "simplifying the foundation," thus freeing teams to focus on new commercial initiatives.

As for the advertising side, Kargman said, "We think we’ve built our adtech directly into Fabrik in a way that there's absolutely no reason not to use Kargo — but certainly, it doesn't require you to exclusively use Kargo. We expect publishers to monetize their own sites, to cut branded entertainment deals, to do all the good things that they do."

And as previously mentioned, the plan is for Fabrik to be a separate business unit under the Kargo's corporate umbrella, with its own customers and its own CEO — Kargman said he's talking to a potential hire, but it's "not quite ready yet to announce."