For those who’ve not woke up to the new media space and the value of blogs, here’s the latest information from the Wall Street Journal’s 24/7 blog. In ranking the top blogs using Quantcast to evaluate traffic, 24/7 reports that Gawker is the most valuable blog at $318 million. That’s the price the blog would sell for on the open market.
What criteria was used? 24/7 reports:
The first is revenue and profits. 24/7 considers audience size, advertising revenue, subscription sales, and conference businesses. Conferences are sometimes the largest and most profitable operations of some blog companies.
24/7 Wall St. also considers the moat around each blog. In other words, how hard is it for other mainstream media sites to compete with the blog? How likely is it that a new blog could take market share from the website and its related businesses?
We also consider founder risk. For example, if Jim Cramer left the mainstream site TheStreet.com, how much would its value fall? Because of Cramer’s fame and visibility at TheStreet, its value would likely be very badly damaged. Some of the blogs on the 24/7 list which rely heavily on their founders for editorial direction, business connections and public relations face a similar problem.
In case you’re wondering about Gawker, that $318 million includes the list of blogs under the Gawker Media umbrella: Gizmodo, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Gawker.com. The total traffic count for the group is 20 million unique visitors per month, on the average. (By contrast, SFGate.com does around 2.9 million unique visitors per month.)
Rounding out 24/7’s list is Drudge at $93 million, PopSugar Media Network at $64 million, SBNation at $56 million, Macrumors at $52 million, Business Insider at $45 million, Seeking Alpha at $45 million, Cheezburger Network at $41 million, Mashable at $39 million, and GigaOm at $32 million, Perez Hilton at $29 million, Funny Or Die at $27 million, The Blaze at $24 million, Zero Hedge at $16 million, ReadWriteWeb at $13.2 million, VentureBeat at $13 million, Pitchfork at $12.9 million, Mediaite at $12 million, Newser at $8 million, Boing Boing at $7 million, Gothamist at $4.2 million (including all of the ‘ists’), Breitbart at $4 million, Destructoid at $3.7 million, and Breaking Media at 3.5 million, and the authors playfully included 24/7 at number 25, with no listed value. In that case, they should have included Zennie62.com.
What this proves is not just that blogs are here to stay but that they can and do replace mainstream media. Also, many of the blogs were not started by journalists at all.