Tumblr really wants to be more than a collection of cute animal pictures. In fact, it views large publishers as an essential part of its future. Tumblr’s mindset is that quality content from these publishers grows audiences.

“At Tumblr, there’s a recognition that Tumblr is better when you get better stuff on it,” Mark Coatney, Tumblr’s media evangelist, told Josh Sternberg in an interview.

It’s a difficult sell, as not much direct traffic is sent to publishers directly from Tumblr. But Newsweek senior writer Jessica Bennett told Sternberg that it’s a way “to connect with an audience outside the usual network of Newsweek/Daily Beast reader.” Read more