GigaOM has purchased ContentNext, paidContent’s parent company, from the UK’s Guardian News & Media. The exact terms are undisclosed, but it is reportedly about $8 million. The Guardian Media Group paid for ContentNext and paidContent in 2008. As part of the deal, Guardian Media Group also becomes a minority shareholder in GigaOM.
“Technology and covering technology is a global endeavor, and you need to be in all the major centers,” GigaOM CEO Paul Walborsky told Wired, pointing to paidContent’s footprint in London and New York. “We’ve been following paidContent from the beginning, and we’ve always thought it was great journalism. Not only were they breaking news, they were analyzing news. They’ve followed how the media is changing and evolving. We thought if you combined that conversation with our knowledge of technology, and how technology has changed media, you would have a very powerful editorial base to work from.”
Talent and resources from both organizations will also be pooled for GigaOM Pro, the company’s premium business analysis publication service, as well as events spanning both companies, starting with paidContent 2012 in March.
“When you find a company with great coverage and credibility in these industries, that can be leveraged across all our businesses,” said Walborsky, “it makes more sense to partner or acquire than to build the resources from scratch.”
“If you really want to understand how media is going to change, you really need to understand where technology is going,” Walborsky said, when asked about the increased importance of technology in media coverage and vice versa. At GigaOM, we view our business not as building pageviews but building relationships with an audience over time. So we’ve seen first-hand how important it is for businesses to understand how media helps to build those relationships today.”
It’s a business that’s increasingly knotted and complex. Malik is a partner in the VC firm TrueVentures, which in turn is an investor in GigaOM, a media company that covers the technology and media industries. Since GigaOM was founded in 2006, it’s acquired mobile blog jkOnTheRun and The Apple Blog. It generates a remarkable amount of revenue from its events and the Pro version of its site. Now it owns paidContent’s own network of web sites, conferences and newsletters.
The perspective of GigaOM
The main reasons for the acquisitions according to GigaOM are the good quality of its writers, location (offices in New York and Europe).
“The question that mass amateurization poses to traditional media is ‘What happens when the costs of reproduction and distribution go away? What happens when there is nothing unique about publishing anymore because users can do it for themselves?’ We are now starting to see that question being answered.”— Clay Shirky
Shirky’s observation means that we are in a time of chaos where the very idea of media is being questioned. And as a Chinese proverb says, from chaos emerges opportunity. GigaOM founder Malik believes that the best is yet to come for media.
“Over the past few years we have started to see the transformation of media by new technologies, new methods of distribution and newer ways to consume information. Mathew Ingram has been writing about these disruptions on a regular basis, and now we are going to double down on what we think is a great new chapter in the media industry.
I have always believed that we’ve got to stop thinking of media as what it was and focus on more of what it could be. In the world of plenty, the only currency is attention and attention is what defines “media.” Zynga is fighting Hollywood for attention (and winning). Instagram is taking moments away from other media. They have attention. There are old companies that are dying and new ones that are being invented. We’re eager to expand our coverage of social and digital media editorially, in our research and at our events. paidContent is the best chronicler of the media industry, and by blending their coverage with ours, we hope to watch this fast-changing industry ever more closely.”
Source: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/02/gigaom-acquires-paidcontent/ and