Have Popular Digital Media Property, Will Travel

At least four interested parties appear to have submitted bids for Newsweek, the magazine that The Washington Post Company put up for sale on May 5th. We will see how that pans out.
In the meantime, digital media properties continue to be scooped up at a brisk pace.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, Ziff Davis, which started in the 1920s as a publisher of hobbyist magazines, has been sold to Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, and Vivek Shah, a former executive at Time Warner Inc.’s magazine division for less than $150 million.
Ziff Davis publishes PCMag.com, ExtremeTech, GearLog and other titles in the technology enthusiast vertical.

The new owners say Ziff Davis is an attractive bet because it’s not saddled with a legacy print business, and the company is valuable to marketers because of its tight focus on technology and on helping consumers pick the best tech gear. They also say they see big business potential in selling marketing databases that piggyback on the company’s information about consumers who use Ziff Davis to research and shop.

In other words, Ziff Davis’ readers are looking for information before they buy, and that’s something the company can use to is advantage.
In other mergers and acquisitions news, The Wire reports that Buzz Media has added new pop culture titles to its lineup, including PureVolume, PopMatters, Gorilla vs. Bear and Concrete Loop.
Pop culture and technology are popular topics. More popular than media, marketing and advertising by a long shot. Yet, whatever the size of the potential audience, what’s obvious in the developments above is the fact that you can more easily bring ad revenue to the table when you’re selling inventory on more than one industry site.
Speaking of online ad revenue, according to Adweek, reports of the death of Internet display advertising are “greatly exaggerated.”

“Marketers hit a wall with search. When the efficiency starts to level off, they look to other ways to expand business, and that’s where display has come in,” said Eric Koepele, director of digital media sales for Hearst Television, which has seen display revenue grow by double-digit percentages this year.
“At the end of the day, marketers have to stand out. If there’s no brand awareness from search, they’re just like everyone else,” added JonPaul Rexing, senior director of sales for ESPNlocal.com.

I’m kind of surprised an enterprising display ad sales professional hasn’t started an ad network to serve the media, marketing and advertising niche. Our readerships are generally smaller than tech and pop culture sites, but there is an audience here (particularly when you aggregate) and it can be reached with display advertising.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.