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Posted by Tom Foremski - February 9, 2011 The second largest privately held web site next to the Huffington Post is San Francisco based HubPages where "Hubbers" publish articles on a wide variety of topics and get paid through Google AdSense. Some of the more popular Hubbers can earn more than a thousand dollars a month and they own their own content -- a different model from Demand Media, which commissions articles from more than 17,000 writers.
In a bold and definitive move, AOL is paying $315 million, mostly in cash, to buy the Huffington Post, one of the Web’s most prominent news and opinion sites. As part of the deal, Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington (pictured here)–who was derided by some when she co-founded the left-leaning site in 2005 with investor and well-known communications exec Kenneth Lerer–will become president and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group within AOL. The deal was signed late this afternoon, and the board of directors of each company and shareholders of the privately held Huffington Post have approved the transaction. In an exclusive video interview BoomTown conducted earlier today in Dallas, just before Super Bowl XLV, both Armstrong and Huffington were jovial that the whirlwind deal, begun in November, actually worked out so quickly.
By now you may well have heard that AOL has acquired Huffington Post for $315m. Looking at HuffPo and now AOL there are three elements which show how large news businesses might look in the digital age: HuffPo has achieved revenue scale (forecast $60m this year, up from $31m in 2010) They have combined a low cost journalism model with a reputation for quality – a small core staff complimented by over 3,000 guest bloggers including Barak Obama and Madonna (I don’t have information on their profitability, but the capital raised to date is only $20m) AOL now has a portfolio of sites – HuffPo, Techcrunch , Engadget etc. – which maybe a model for real scale in this industry Regular readers will know that I’m bearish on the prospects for traditional news businesses like News International . Print media circulations are falling fast, their classifieds revenues have collapsed and they are mostly failing (and will continue to fail) in their attempts to charge on the web.
Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times In 2005, The Atlantic relocated its offices to Washington from Boston, its ancestral home. By pretending it was a Silicon Valley start-up that needed to kill itself to survive.
Could it be that the iPad and its ilk are the savior of the newspaper industry? The jury’s still out but today’s news that the Financial Times’ iPad app has generated a cool £1 million in ad revenue since its launch in May does bode quite well, at least in relation to the FT itself. That figure comes from the paper’s own deputy chief executive Ben Hughes as revealed at the MediaGuardian Changing Advertising Summit ( via paidContent ). Now clearly Apple’s pricey (and luxury) device and the FT do make for a cosy demographic fit, but nevertheless this is ad revenue alone not income garnered from digital subscriptions, with the paper also sitting behind its own paywall. On that note, according to the report, Hughes told the summit that more than 400,000 subscribers have signed up for the iPad app and that it now accounts for 10% of the paper’s new digital subscriptions.
News aggregators have grown into all shapes and forms. Some are truly helping the producers of original content but others simply amount to mere electronic ransack. My daily media routine starts on Techmeme . It is a pure aggregator — actually an aggrefilter , as coined by Dan Farber, at the time editor-in-chief of Cnet, who recommended it.
| As told to Liz Welch Oct 1, 2010 Michael Arrington loves breaking tech stories, but he’s not big on PR people, conversational niceties, or sunlight. John Keatley Cap'n Crunch: Michael Arrington says his style is to “bust the door down and clean the mess up later.”
Posted by Tom Foremski - September 20, 2010 I was at the DEMO Fall conference last week in Santa Clara, which is co-organized by the online news publication VentureBeat and IDG. I noticed that there wasn't much media at the conference -- the press room was nearly deserted for much of the time I was there. (I also looked for media coverage that wasn't from VentureBeat and it was equally sparse.) Usually, DEMO attracts quite a large variety of publications and this is a key reason that companies are willing to pay the $18,500 fee, (if selected) to be at DEMO. There was plenty of coverage from VentureBeat, of course.
Posted by Guest Writer - July 28, 2010 By Matthew Buckland - memeburn.com Google has been quietly testing a new paywall system for publishers it is calling "Newspass".
A top news and politics site is packaging content written by unpaid bloggers, hoping to engage its audience, give writers a platform, and make some money selling ads. No, I’m not talking about The Huffington Post . In recent weeks, The Washington Post has launched two new projects following a model closer to HuffPo — where a small number of professionals are paid to curate the work of many more unpaid writers — than its traditional print roots. In the competitive world of Washington news, it’s another example of the Post trying something new to compete with the startups that, not so long ago, weren’t viewed as much of a direct threat. Thursday, Post Politics launched its political blog network , an offshoot of Chris Cillizza’s politics blog, The Fix .
Henry Blodget is a man who will be neither easily riled nor insulted. When, in March, he learned that a blog had labeled a section of The Business Insider, the gossipy financial website he founded three years ago, "The Hooters of the Internet," Blodget waited a couple hours before tweeting: "The Hooters of the Internet. I like that." In May, Blodget predicted on his website that within just a few years, The Huffington Post will take in over $100 million in advertising revenue—more than triple the $30 million the site says it will bring in in 2010—and that by 2015 or so, it would be generating more from advertising than The New York Times .
As I walked in the headquarters of the Jawa Pos —the flagship newspaper of one of South East Asia’s largest print media empires—I was wondering just how screwed my profession is; globally I mean. Is the death of print a world-wide certainty or merely an American reality? After all a lot of “old economy” businesses are thriving in emerging markets thanks to Greenfield advantages and rising middle class economics. Spoiler alert: I walked out a few hours later not hugely convinced print is the future but willing to believe that in some places the death-blow of digital might be limited to a mere-crippling. How’s that for bullish? Language difference and a preponderance of statues aside, the Jawa Pos felt like any other newsroom of a large daily.
At last, Google is revealing its split on AdSense: 68% to publishers for content ads, 51% for search ads. I had two primary complaints about Google in my otherwise admittedly and obviously wet-kiss book, What Would Google Do? : Google’s policy aiding government censorship in China and its opacity on advertising relationships. The first is pretty much fixed and this morning, Google is addressing teh second. so is the second.
New Media Business Models
Every company is a media company
On Friday, I broke a tasty story about a woman suing Google, claiming bad directions caused her to get hit by a vehicle. Today, I discover our story is everywhere, often with no attribution. Come along and watch how the mainstream media, which often claims bloggers rip it off, does a little stealing of its own. Woman Follows Google Maps “Walking” Directions, Gets Hit, Sues was the story I posted on Friday afternoon, Pacific Time. I was tipped to the lawsuit by Gary Price of ResourceShelf .
Yahoo is clearly positioning itself to become a stronger player in the online content game, as evidenced by its recent acquisition of Associated Content . But we are hearing that the real prize they want is the Huffington Post. The two companies are currently in negotiations over a deep content partnership, according to sources close to the situation. There are also rumblings that Yahoo wants to buy the Huffington Post outright, but it may be too expensive.
Facebook & the media
New media parody
Oops, there's Internet & Youtube now
Journalisme d'investigation sur le Net