Monday, September 26th, 2011

How Long Does Tumblr's $85 Million Last?

$85 million sounds like a lot of money! That's what Tumblr just raised, on top of the $30 million they raised ten months ago, bringing their investment dollars to a bit north of $120 million. There's a staff of 50 (now only 82% male!), so that's like $5 million a year right there. (Also, they've outsourced tech support (rather poorly; if you ask Tumblr for help with something, you get some dude copying and pasting a manual at you) with some minimal supervision, and that's probably a significant, if user-annoying, cost savings.) But staff costs are surely dwarfed by the cost of doing at the very least 156 billion pageviews a year, particularly when those pageviews are mostly "borrowed" copyrighted high-res images of cats and/or starving girls. (That cost is the joy of being an actual tech company, not a "media company.") By very back-of-the-envelope calculations, Tumblr's adorable own neighborhood in some cute server farm costs a lot more than that. So by necessity, they'll be rolling out the "how we will make money" plan in 2012. Somewhere at Tumblr HQ, there's a graph where a red line of money being spent points down and a blue (or maybe green????) line of "projected revenue" points up. Hmm, hey, HOW ABOUT COUPONS? I hear coupons are hot right now.

12 Comments / Post A Comment

thomas_ (#11,923)

something something mopeds

areaderwrites (#592)

Based on my dashboard, it seems like they may be making some progress toward identifying and archiving a single copy of original posts (especially those made by corporate users) and then pushing out something along the lines of an alias when those are picked up by individual rebloggers. I know I've reblogged some stuff lately that ends up with many more reactions than it gets via me (this would be virtually everything on Tumblr; I'm not for everybody), and I see that it has 200 notes or something, but only the ones generated by my peeps show up when I click the "notes" link. If they could somehow manage the echo chamber, could have significant savings in server space alone.

keisertroll (#1,117)

I stopped using it after hearing they were going to make us pay for Tumblrarity.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

Hasn't it been established that nobody makes money on the internet?

keisertroll (#1,117)

@johnpseudonym Send me five dollars and I'll tell you why this isn't true.

This blog post is harshing on my wide-eyed tumblr idealism!

Debussy Fields (#9,962)

How do they make $? Volume.

osmium (#7,705)

Summer of Megadeth PRO™

Matt (#26)

The rare Ossie Awl comment.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

None of this explains how stagnant their system’s development is at least on the front-end side. It’s personally baffling to me how many small quirks any decent debugger/tester could spot are still in place. I admire them, but it seems like they can’t push the site to the next level.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

I'm pretty sure they're going to start selling spots on the "tumblr radar" and "tumblrbot suggests" sidebars. Twitter is already doing the same thing. And their user interactions are not particularly hostile to plain old ads, either, which gives them a big advantage over Twitter.

Wow (#232,831)

This was a really shit article.

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