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Carbon Media Group

30800 Telegraph Road
Bingham Farms, MI 48025

Hyaat Chaudhary

The company currently known as Carbon Media Group originally made a name for itself as the digital advertiser for the hunting and fishing set. If you enjoyed the outdoors and surfed the Web, chances are you saw one of the 7-year-old firm’s banner ads.

That's back when the company was known as Outdoor Hub, and it was doing well. Doing well wasn't enough, so about two years ago the Bingham Farms-based company changed its name to Carbon Media Group and expanded its focus to include the likes of agriculture and action sports, like hiking and mountain climbing.

"We affectionately call it the soft side of the outdoors," says Hyaat Chaudhary, CEO of Carbon Media Group. "That's winter, water, mountain and trail sports. We call it the human-powered outdoors."

The idea was to expand the company’s audience reach within its sphere of influence. So while deer hunting and hiking are similar pursuits in that they both revolve around enjoying nature, the people partaking in them are often two different groups.

"The hunter and the fisherman is the not the person who is going cross-country skiing over the weekend," Chaudhary says. "They're two distinct audiences."

The move into the agriculture space had similar motives. While enjoyment of the outdoors and farming are often considered kissing-cousin verticals, Carbon Media Group’s move into the agriculture space was actually more about seizing an opportunity.

"Agriculture was more of we saw an under-served market," Chaudhary says. "Action sports is more of a natural extension of what we did."

That took place in 2012, shortly after Chaudhary came onboard as part of Carbon Media Group's executive team. While he helped guide the company's move into new audience markets, he also expanded the services it offers. The company made the move from traditional digital marketing methods like banner advertising to a comprehensive digital media content producer.

"We have had to grow with the demands of our clients and the industry," Chaudhary says. "We tried to take a lead."

Carbon Media Group now coordinates advertising and content creation for more than 600 websites for fans of the outdoors, agriculture and action sports/events/activities. It also has an extensive network of outdoor-related YouTube channels and its own CarbonTV outlet for online videos about the outdoors.

"Our longterm strategy is ownership of our video assets," Chaudhary says.

That strategy has allowed Carbon Media Group to grow exponentially. Its revenue is up by a third over the last year. It has also more than doubled its staff to 56 people since the beginning of 2013. That staff is now focused on content creation so Carbon Media Group can own its space in more ways than one.

"Before it was a lot about partnerships," Chaudhary says. "Now it's a lot about owning."

- Written by Jon Zemke

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