Business Insider announces results – shows small(er) news companies are the future

By March 9, 2011 5 Comments

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)



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