Gawker Media


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Overview of where Gawker stood in 2007, and a historical analysis of blogs more generally.

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Gawker Media

  1. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Timeline </li></ul><ul><li>Titles </li></ul><ul><li>Stats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pageviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commenter Traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience Demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogging Industry </li></ul><ul><li>Gawker Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nick Denton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gawker’s Business Model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key Revenue (Advertising) and Expenses (Compensation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A Questionable Future </li></ul>
  2. 3. 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 Launched Sold Less than $50K revenue Gawker Content Media Productions created to serve Nike 3 Managing Editors quit, at, Nick Denton steps in Readers post 485,393 comments across 15 sites in February Gawker Media Timeline Comments enabled
  3. 4. Quick Look: Gawker Geek vs. Gawker Chic • GAWKER GEEK: Focus on technology and consumption • GAWKER CHIC: Lifestyle and Entertainment coverage told in narrative style 12 Titles 200 Contributors 20 MM Uniques (Quantcast) SIZE Educated Age adjusted affluent Influential Core: Adults 18-34 AUDIENCE
  4. 5. 350 stories per week
  5. 6. 100 stories per week
  6. 7. 300 stories per week
  7. 8. Nielsen’s Unique Visitors
  8. 9. Recent Unique Visitors
  9. 10. 2007 Monthly Unique Visitors
  10. 11. Historical Pageviews
  11. 12. Recent Pageviews
  12. 13. Historical Commenter Traffic
  13. 14. Recent Commenter Traffic
  14. 15. Age Demographics
  15. 16. Gender Demographics
  16. 17. Education Demographics
  17. 18. Income Demographics
  18. 19. Geography
  19. 20. Blogging History <ul><li>1994: Justin Hall creates first blog, </li></ul><ul><li>1997: Jorn Barger coins term Weblog </li></ul><ul><li>1999: Blogger launches first free blog-creation service </li></ul><ul><li>2000: Boing Boing launches </li></ul><ul><li>2002: Gakwer Media launches </li></ul><ul><li>2003: Google launches AdSense, matching ads to blog content </li></ul><ul><li>2004: 32 million Americans read blogs </li></ul><ul><li>2005: Huffington Post launches </li></ul><ul><li>$100 million worth of blog ads sold online </li></ul><ul><li>2006 Matt Drudge listed as one of Times 100 Most Influential People </li></ul><ul><li>2008: 115 million active blogs </li></ul>
  20. 21. The Long Tail of Blogging
  21. 22. 3 Blog Business Models <ul><li>Lone Writer </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Talking Points Memo </li></ul><ul><li>Known for breaking news of Sen. Majority Leader Trent Lott’s racially charged comments. Audience surged to 40,000 daily. Grosses in the low six figures. 3 full time staffers. Daily traffic is 150,000 page views, charges advertisers $5 CPM </li></ul><ul><li>Record Label </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Weblogs, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Known for high quantity (90 blogs created), low quality. Sold to AOL for $25 million in 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Boutique </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Gawker Media </li></ul><ul><li>Known for crafting blogs carefully aimed at a deluxe niche readership. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Nick Denton <ul><li>“ Blogs are likely to be better for readers than for capitalists.” (2006, NYMag) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I always thought that you needed to know the code for finding out what was actually going on when you read mainstream publications. We just say it. It is supposed to be the conversation that occurs between reporters at the bar after they have finished their stories.” (2006, NYT) </li></ul><ul><li>“ On the rare occasions I ponder my legacy, I think I should set up gossip sites to cover countries like Russia and China. To foment revolution, with a drip-drip of snarky stories about corruption.” (2008, Wired) </li></ul>Earned degree in economics and politics from Oxford University Sold 2 tech companies for $50MM in 1999 “ He’s polite, quiet, and relentlessly confident, an effective poised leader whose true nature is amoral recklessness, an unrufflable libertarian and libertine.” (2006, NYMag)
  23. 24. Gawker Media Business Model <ul><li>Expenses: </li></ul><ul><li>Compensation: $7 million </li></ul><ul><li> 139 employees (40 FT editors + 40 FT tech and admin + 59 freelance) </li></ul><ul><li>80 full time x $70,000/year each + $400,000 in traffic based bonuses + 59 freelancers x $17,000/year each </li></ul><ul><li>Overhead: $500,000 </li></ul><ul><li>$10,000 webhosting x 12 titles + $120,000 rent + $260,000 advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue </li></ul><ul><li>30 million page views x 4 units x $30/page ratecard x 60% sold x 15% discount x 10% bulk discount x 15% commission = $20 million </li></ul><ul><li>Profit </li></ul><ul><li>~$10-$12 million into Nick Denton’s pocket </li></ul>
  24. 25. Standard Media Offerings Skyscraper: 160x600 Expands: Right To 500x600 Splashbox: 300x250 Expands: Down/Left To 500x500 Interrupter: 728x90 Expands: Up/Down To 728x500
  25. 26. Advertising Rates <ul><li>$10 per 1,000 pageviews </li></ul><ul><li>Discount rates up to 70% for buys of $100K+ </li></ul><ul><li>Also offers Custom Skins, Content Generation, Contests, Polls, Branding Studies </li></ul>
  26. 27. Staff <ul><li>“ You need a talented writer entertaining enough to hold an audience, a consistent publishing schedule, content worth linking to by other bloggers and worthy of press coverage, marketing savvy to sell advertising, and plenty of traffic.” –Wired Magazine, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Work from home or the “office” </li></ul><ul><li>Constant contact through instant messenger </li></ul><ul><li>Required to join Facebook group </li></ul><ul><li>Under contract to post 12 times a day for $3,000/month or $6.50-$9.75 per 1,000 pageviews from fixed pot of “editorial bonuses” </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily in their 20 and 30s already affiliated with the arts&culture world </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>3 Editors </li></ul><ul><li>4 Reporters </li></ul><ul><li>15 Freelancers </li></ul><ul><li>100 Commenters </li></ul>
  27. 28. Product “ They didn’t exactly invent the blog, but the tone they used for Gawker became the most important stylistic influence on the emerging field of blogging and has turned into the de facto voice of blogs today.” –New York Magazine, 2007 “ Right now, we don’t have enough inventory for people who are trying to reach young males. The idea was to come up with sites that would interest them.” –Nick Denton, 2004 “ It's no longer enough to take stories from the New York Times, and add a dash of snark. Gawker needs to break and develop more stories . And the new managing editor will need to hire and manage reporters, as well as bloggers. Think of Gawker less as a blog than as a full-blown news site. A feel for the tone of the internet, and the particular obsessions of the internet audience, is necessary. But print reporters and editors, with traditional newsgathering skills, should not rule themselves out. Newspapers provide no long-term job security; this is the chance to make the leap over into online journalism.” – website, 2007
  28. 29. Recent Job Description <ul><li>Blogs such as Gawker won't be running 5,000-word-long features any time soon, nor giving writers weeks to investigate. But the web—other blogs, search engines and social network sites—increasingly rewards original items. So we're looking for an additional reporter for the team. </li></ul><ul><li>At its most basic, the reporting may at times be little more than value-added blogging: a story in the news, put in context with a quick Nexis search, and deconstructed . At its most elevated, the new Gawker hire may experiment with a new form of reporting, unique to online, in which ideas are floated, appeals made to the readers, and the story assembled over the course of several items, from speculation, and tips from users. Here's the kind of person suited to the position. </li></ul><ul><li>At least two years of experience as a reporter at a daily or weekly newspaper, covering either crime news, business, or media and culture (yes, a print background is an advantage ). </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to write five short items a day , some one-offs, some to further an ongoing campaign or investigation. </li></ul><ul><li>A reporter who appreciates the discipline of newspaper traditions, but chafes under them. </li></ul><ul><li>A natural gossip who loves the story and, even more, the story behind the story. </li></ul><ul><li>familiarity with blogging software , RSS readers and graphics editing tools a big plus. </li></ul><ul><li>You may have heard that blogs don't pay; that's no longer the case. Short letter explaining why you're suited, with links to articles online, by December 19, to Noah Robischon with the subject line: Reporter. </li></ul>
  29. 30. Competition <ul><li>“ Blogging is increasingly becoming a survival of the fittest—and that all boils down to who has the best content. The blogs that are going to stand out are the ones who break news and have credibility.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Elizabeth Spiers, first writer (2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Technorati lists the top 10 blogs as </li></ul><ul><li>Huffington Post </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Crunch </li></ul><ul><li>Engadget (Weblogs, Inc) </li></ul><ul><li>Gizmodo </li></ul><ul><li>Boing Boing (5 former Wired editors) </li></ul><ul><li>Lifehacker </li></ul><ul><li>Ars Technica </li></ul><ul><li>Mashable </li></ul><ul><li>Icanhascheezburger </li></ul><ul><li>Daily Kos </li></ul>
  30. 31. The Future <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Recession could decrease online advertising spending </li></ul><ul><li>Shortage of talented programmers could slow speed of development </li></ul><ul><li>Tech bubble 2.0 could/will bust </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging becomes professionalized as an industry </li></ul><ul><li>More news content could begin online, thereby increasing ad revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Linking/search software changes to preference blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Value of media design/content generation/audience metrics increases </li></ul><ul><li>Other </li></ul><ul><li>Nick Denton could get bored and sell all of Gawker Media </li></ul>
  31. 32. Questions?