Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
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Gawker Media Now Bigger Than All Newspapers Online — Except One

THE TRAFFICSThe latest traffic memo arrives from Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton: in it, Comscore shows that his network of sites is bigger than any newspaper online but the New York Times. That being said? "The newspapers are now the least of our competition. The inflated expectations of investors and executives may one day explode the Huffington Post. And Yahoo and AOL are in long-term decline. But they are all increasingly in our business."

From: Nick Denton
Date: September 7, 2010
Subject: Gawker Media would be the second largest online newspaper

A quick note to start off the new internet year. This is usually the strongest season for internet media: the period from the return to school in September through to the big tech shows in January. And we have a particularly good base this year — because last month was excellent.

It's not that we benefited from any gigantic stories. The top 10 are the usual mix of helpful (how to opt out of Facebook Places) and surprising (Greek statues were tacky, Justin Bieber sounds cooler slowed down) and gratuitous (yet more athlete dong.) Take a look through the whole list of the Top 100 (linked below) for more examples of stories that struck a nerve.

But it seems that — even if there were few home runs — you were scoring more singles. Most sites were substantially up on a year ago. The US audience of Jalopnik, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Gawker, Lifehacker and Kotaku all grew by 30-60%. And a special mention to io9, which was up 118% on August 2009.

The network as a whole drew 17.8m domestic visitors for the month. Let's put that in context. How do we stack up, against the established names in online news. Last time we measured ourselves against the traditional newspapers' online operations, we were fourth. But we've overtaken both the Washington Post and USA Today, according to Comscore. And, in this category, we're behind only the New York Times.

A note of caution, however: the newspapers are now the least of our competition. The inflated expectations of investors and executives may one day explode the Huffington Post. And Yahoo and AOL are in long-term decline. But they are all increasingly in our business. And we have a long way to go before we can surpass them.

One other note. We don't talk about it that much. But advertising sales hit a new record in August — which is usually a rather lackluster month. That's largely down to the increasingly slick marketing collateral and creative services execution — and tireless salesmanship. But I think we may also be benefiting already from audience growth this year and buzz from stories such as the iPhone 4 scoop.

40 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

Thank god for Lindsay Lohan.

saythatscool (#101)

What's the word for this again? Oh yeah.

zidaane (#373)

"The top 10 are the usual mix of crap".

zidaane (#373)

It's odd that he uses newspapers as a measuring stick and then admits they broke zero news stories for any effect.

La Cieca (#1,110)

I worry what will happen to the New York Times if ever they stop featuring athlete dong.

Rod T (#33)

This is slightly off-topic, but something I've wondered for a while: What is the appeal of The Huffington Post? I find it rather full of blather and bosh and light on facts. Or maybe it's just not gay enough for me.

File this under "Please Explain".

zidaane (#373)

fanned, faved and then rolled up into a ball and inserted into my anus.

I don't get HuffPo either and I'm straight, but I do enjoy gayness, platonically.

semiserious (#2,430)

Does anyone actually bother going directly to the HuffPo? Doesn't everyone just wind up there through Google or links anyway?

I recently started look at the HuffPo more! (I do read friends there obviously already.) But there are sometimes more things there that I realize now that I might link to. If I can find them handily.

LOL, I recently "started look." Indeed.

ljnd (#86)

Too much HuffPo will make you stupid.

True fact.

They often have articles with 1000+ comments! It's mind-boggling!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I used to read the Huffpo on a daily basis, years ago (Bush era, of course!), before it morphed into a sprawling, incomprehensible kitchen sink of linkbait.

My wife turned her previously unaware coworker onto its existence not long ago, and now that coworker is addicted to it. There is a lot of anger and frustration from quietly leftish/center leaning folk who aren't deeply or seriously political otherwise, it's become their watering hole. Considering that in many parts of America one is assaulted by Fox News even inside the local McDonalds, it's unsurprising to me that many people who are turned off by it gravitate to the brightest beacon they can find on the other end of the spectrum. …which, well.

iplaudius (#1,066)

HuffPo is for people who fancy themselves liberal but then do things like forward emails about mosques and such.

Nick Douglas (#7,095)

A lot of that traffic comes from stuff they republish from other blogs. Sometimes it's spammy, sometimes it's actually helpful to those other sites.

HuffPo uses these links to build an extensive partner network, asking other sites to send traffic back. I edit Urlesque, one of HuffPo's many link partner sites. I can't say how much traffic we exchange, but I do think that with enough partners, this could be a significant part of HuffPo traffic.

I'm not sure if Gawker Media does anything similar, but Urlesque has no such partnership with them. (You can see our labeled partner links below most blog posts on Urlesque.)

"What do you mean, 'our business'?"

– J.J. Hunsecker

petejayhawk (#1,249)

Notably lacking from the comparison: TMZ.

deepomega (#1,720)

Come now, comparing the classy journalism of Fleshbot to the low-down scandal-raking of TMZ is unfair. Gawker would not deign to compete on their level!

&c, &c

petejayhawk (#1,249)

It's not just Fleshbot. Jalopnik, Deadspin, Jez, Gawker are all competing against TMZ now.

Not that I'm saying anything you don't already know, but comparing GM to newspapers is fallacious at best. That's not even the competition…if nothing else, count the number of GM posts that are based on/link to newspaper sites.

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/tmz.com+gawker.com/

While TMZ is larger than Gawker, Gawker Media *is* still bigger by far. But then TMZ doesn't cover videogames. Ha.

deepomega (#1,720)

Thanks for the math, Choire. Expect TMGamez any day now. PornMZ?

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Blonde surfer dude (Max? -MAXL ROSE-) will be first in line to get the PornMZ chief editor/producer promotion, for sure.

BoHan (#29)

My Venn Diagram just got a chubby.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Re" the use of "bigger": The student… is now the master.

"Last time we measured ourselves against the traditional newspapers' online operations, we were fourth. But we've overtaken both the Washington Post and USA Today, according to Comscore. And, in this category, we're behind only the New York Times."

That measurement of influence takeaway seems harmless but really is a mindbending fuckery of your media future. And people will only have themselves to blame. Just like, in 1996 the mantra was "We have the government we deserve." In 2016 it will be "We have the journalism we deserve."

cinetrix (#47)

Just trying to figure out why Denton's use of baseball imagery rankles so.

Because you do not "score" "singles"?

It's like my mother describing the internet.

bigjuggsorgtfo.com had 23.4 million uniques, but I don't see them comparing themselves to the Times.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Greatcommentorgetfo!

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

It confused me that "Gawker Media" is bundled together but other newspaper conglomorates are not. Shouldn't "USA Today" actually be the traffic of all the Gannett papers, if we're comparing it to all the Gawker sites? Similarly NYT/Boston Globe, WSJ/NewsCorp, etc. Am I missing something?

Carlos Rubi (#7,331)

That's exactly what I thought– but then I jumped into Nick Denton's mind (something I would not reccomend); they see themselves as a big newspaper nowadays, with the sister sites (flagship offsprings) being the traditional "sections."

That's a way to pitch it to potential advertisers.

Chris (#5,644)

Let's all hate on Gawker media sites then go and read Gawker media sites.

Sprague D (#3,732)

Wow, Jesus was right — the meek really shall inherit the Earth…

Cab McNabb (#7,336)

If you're going to compare Gawker Media to NYT and LAT, make sure it's apples to apples. NYT Media (which includes Boston.com), Tribune Media (which includes Chicago Tribune), and other media companies on this list dwarf Gawker Media by a mile.

Daniel Sargeant (#7,340)

Is anyone working on the conspiracy that connects the Jewish New Year with the Internet New Year?

alorsenfants (#139)

I read most of the stuff you have mentioned — but be sure to consider the difference between "news" and "aggregator"?
That is a big distinction, and it's going to mean a lot going forward,

Wow — submitted something without trying to be funny or nasty!

jamboree (#206)

It sounds out of place, like he's picked up a few tips from "Being a Better Boss: Communication" seminars.

jamboree (#206)

Gah, this was supposed to be in response to Cinetrix.

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