The Times Buys About.com for About $400 million+

The New York Times Company Investor Relations

Tip of the hat to Rafat — I found this news at paidcontent.org.

Whoa. Active M&A season in the world o’content. First Dow pays a big price for Marketwatch, now the Times snatches up About (nee’ The Mining Company).

I’m not, and never have been, a big fan of About.com. (the guides don’t add that much value and the click-throughs are irritatingly framed) But there’s no fighting the reality that guides have always been a big draw for the masses. They made Scott Kurnit wealthy, and About.com was Tom Rogers big Hail Mary acquisition when he was helming Primedia. How this integrates with the NYT.com and Boston.com hasn’t penetrated my thick skull yet. In any case, it is a big step up to the plate for NYT Digital and signals aspirations far beyond making a buck off of their morgue and ad impressions.

It’s all beginning to feel very 1996 all over again. The interesting thing, Google IPO fever aside, is the action is in the acquisitions, not the offerings. With About.com done, what’s next on the M&A radar?

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “The Times Buys About.com for About $400 million+”

  1. 20 million visitors and one huge “lifetstyle” section complete with tidbits of the non-time specific business stuff and some Circuits and Home thrown in. $20 a unique visitor. Not totally unreasonable with the crunch in finding ad slots. And the bonus? Much of the content is EVERGREEN. Sure, you need to refresh it. I don’t need to read about why my pies are burning more than once but the content is varied enough.

  2. And today’s Times (2.18) reports on itself by describing the demographic as younger, 65 percent female, and slightly less affluent. I was also unaware that About.com brings cost-per-click to the NYT’s ad offerings.

    $20 a unique — okay, even if diluted by home/at work duplicates (I don’t imagine About has much of a strong at-work audience), that’s a fair price to pay.