Henry Blodget’s Business Insider network of news blogs revealed yesterday that their 2010 revenues were $4.8m and they made a small profit. Their revenues came from advertising on their sites and a conference that they ran. Most were from advertising.
I’ve been saying for a long time that their model of free news supported by ads and conferences/other brand extensions is the way forward for news in the digital age and it is great to see another company making it work. There is a lot of handwringing from traditional newspaper businesses who are losing money and don’t want to embrace/can’t embrace a future where content is free and their businesses need to be much smaller, but that shouldn’t obscure the fact that companies like Business Insider are delivering a high quality news product and making the economics work.
As well as announcing his results Henry cited a couple of other digital news businesses that are making the model work, from a revenue perspective at least:
- Huffington Post revenues were $30m in 2010, projecting $50m this year
- Gawker Media is a ‘nicely profitable’ $25m turnover business with aspirations to get to $100m
- New York Times digital business is turning over c$150m, which wouldn’t support their $200m newsroom, but could still support a substantial news operation (Business Insider employs 48 people and is break even at an average revenue per head of $100k)