Cameron ClaytonExecutive VP, Digital Products, The Weather Channel Companies 4/16/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
As Apple recently got ready to celebrate the milestone of 25
billion app downloads, it released a list of the most popular
apps, ranking The Weather Channel app as the second
most popular free iPad app and fifth most popular free
iPhone app, way ahead of anyone else in the TV industry.
And that is only one of example of some of the impressive
numbers TWC has seen with its digital products.
“We’ve had over 55 million downloads of our apps,”
notes Cameron Clayton, the company’s head of digital
products and B&C Technology Leader inductee. “We
have 26 million unique visitors to our mobile Website
and weather.com has 75 million uniques a month according
to comScore….When you add in TV, something
like 168 million uniques a month come to The Weather
Channel properties. And that makes us bigger than ESPN
or anyone else from a cross-platform perspective.”
Clayton’s road to digital product development at TWC
in Atlanta began in New Zealand, where he was born and
raised. After getting what he calls his “first real job” in the
pharmaceutical industry and working on the launch of
Lipitor in New Zealand, a few friends asked him for advice
on how to market their Websites. “I gave them some
names of major ad agencies, but the agencies told them,
‘We aren’t going to work with you because we only create
million dollar-plus TV,’” Clayton recalls. “They were really
mad, but I started laughing and said, ‘This is a great opportunity.
We should start a digital ad agency.’”
The company eventually picked up a number of U.S.
clients, and Clayton married an American woman and
moved to Atlanta, where in 2004 he took his first job
in business development at TWC.
TWC has long been a pioneer in mobile and digital,
launching its mobile offerings in 1999, and had built up a
multimillion-dollar mobile business with its subscription
products. But after the launch of the iPhone, “I made the
decision that we needed to change from subscription and
become an ad-supported business,” Clayton recalls. This
was a hotly contested idea, both inside TWC and in the
industry, which was generally offering subscription products.
“People were telling us we were nuts, and I had many
sleepless nights about that decision,” Clayton admits.
But the move quickly paid off, with revenue growth of
“100% a year, every year since we started,” Clayton notes,
producing a “multi-tens of millions of dollars business”
that is “the fastest-growing part of our business.”
Thanks to that success, Clayton was promoted to
senior VP of mobile and digital applications and in
2011 moved into his current post, where he oversees
all of the company’s digital product development efforts
and strategies. As part of those efforts, his teams are
preparing to launch a revamped weather.com site on
May 2 and a new iPhone app later that month.
Clayton has also been extremely active in industry organizations,
where he is global chairman of the Mobile
Marketing Association and on the board of the Interactive
Advertising Bureau. “I’m a strong believer that we can
raise the sea level for everyone by working together as an
industry to solve common problems,” he notes.