Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gawker Media to Sell Sites

On Monday, Gawker Media announced the sale of three sites, including Gawker music blog Idolator. The site will join ex-rival Stereogum, at Buzznet, which is a musically-focused social networking site that doesn’t like to adhere to the “social network” label. Buzznet may or may not be trying to orchestrate a mass grab of existing music blogs.

In a widely circulated internal email announcing the sale, Gawker publisher and acting managing editor Nick Denton said simply, “Why these three sites? To be blunt: they each had their editorial successes; but someone else will have better luck selling the advertising than we did.”

Fair enough — Idolator was one of Gawker’s two poorest performers and the sale was first rumored late last year. Denton further noted, “…We've been waiting for the internet bubble to burst. No, really, this time. And even if not, better safe than sorry; and better too early than too late.”

Denton’s reasoning seems sound and his conclusion logical, but it begs all kinds of questions about the future of new media and Internet advertising. According to a New York Times article published last November, ad spending on social networking sites is growing rapidly and expected to continue. These issues are bound to be explored further in the coming weeks as rumors of a Yahoo-AOL deal continue to swirl in the wake of other high-profile acquisitions, like News Corp’s purchase of MySpace. The underlying point seems to be that no one quite has this game figured out yet, and in the face of widespread-financial uncertainty, Denton’s circumspect decision to enter “the bunker” may prove a wise one.




- Ashley Herriman (guest contributor to Stark)


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised! I didn't know Idolator was doing that badly. I wonder what this whole "community" thing will look like too- are they trying to rival myspace or pitchfork? I've never even heard of Buzznet.

Anonymous said...

Ugh... I like Stereogum the way it is.