Piano is in the business of making media companies smarter and more agile. We normally do that with software and services. So publishing a print magazine is an unexpected step.

But while the world is crowded with stories about the changing media landscape, we couldn’t help notice the lack of good data about what actually works and what doesn’t. You can read about digital media all week and still not understand whether the strategies being written about are generating any money.

That’s not because media reporters aren’t doing their job — it’s because most media companies won’t release any concrete information about their performance. Often, these companies don’t even have this information themselves. The unfortunate result is a flood of business articles that don’t have the one thing everyone wants: hard data about how money is made in digital media.

We at Piano find ourselves in a privileged position, though. We manage thousands of subscription transactions a day and store every pageview — and advertising view — across hundreds of sites and apps in consumer and business-to-business media. We’re lucky enough to work with many of the largest and most sophisticated media businesses in the world, as well as many of the fastest growing and most innovative ones. Rather than sitting on the sidelines, talking about the latest article to get it wrong, we decided to put our resources to work trying to get it right.

To be plain, this is a marketing exercise for us. There’s a brochure in the middle of the magazine, and we hope that it will motivate you to contact one of our charming and well-informed salespeople. But with the exception of the data that is clearly labeled as being from Piano, Traffic is run as an independent effort. Not every view expressed within reflects our interests or perspective: We sponsored this conversation, but we didn’t constrain it.

While many of the people we’ve featured are clients and partners, none of them participated as an endorsement of Piano. They, like us, simply felt that this is an important dialog to be a part of. We’re extremely grateful to them for contributing their time and perspective.

We’ve benefitted tremendously from the research and reporting that went into Traffic, and we could have filled five magazines with the results. Best of all, though, this project gave us the opportunity to walk in our clients’ shoes and become publishers ourselves. We hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll share your thoughts and ideas with us at [email protected]