The business world was taken by surprise when it was announced that G/O Media has bought the high-quality business news website Quartz, as reported by
The business world was taken by surprise when it was announced that G/O Media has bought the high-quality business news website Quartz, as reported by Reuters.com. Why did this happen and what could it mean for both companies going forward?
Who Are G/O Media?
This firm is described on its own site as being a “premium digital publishing company”. Their extensive portfolio covers brands like Gizmodo, The Root, The Onion and Jalopnik. Several of their sites were once part of the powerful Gawker Media group and they cover a wide range of subjects.
G/O Media sources were quoted as saying that they were attracted to Quartz because it offers high-quality business journalism on global subjects. However, not everyone is convinced that it fits their profile, as current G/O sites typically use low-cost, programmatic adverts to turn a profit.
They also famously ran into problems after buying the Deadpsin.com sports website in 2019. Many members of the editorial staff left after being told to not publish any more non-sports stories, and visitors were disappointed as the site started to run autoplay ads.
Who Are Quartz?
Quartz began life in 2012, when it was set up with a mission to inform the global business elite about the latest big issues and events. It was expected to compete against heavyweight publications like the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
Glossy ads from premium brands showed us their target market and it seemed to eventually work when they announced their first-ever profits in 2017. This led to plans for hiring up to 270 members of staff across the globe.
However, things have turned more difficult in the last couple of years. Zach Seward is the cofounder of Quartz, and he pointed out the challenges they faced in raising funds after going private in 2020. He explained in a note to staff that selling the company wasn’t their plan, but that it soon became apparent that this deal made sense.
No layoffs are going to be made following the sale, and employees are said to be eligible for bonuses from the proceeds of the deal, which could add up to more than $1 million.
The Ongoing Move to Global Markets
This is an example of how many companies are increasingly looking toward global markets, in news reporting and in many other areas. Many of the biggest brands in the online media sector have done this by buying different websites to fit under their umbrella, allowing them to target a variety of audiences.
We can also see this approach in iGaming, where the sportingtech.com site confirms that they use localization and customization to allow operators to speedily deploy their platform in different global markets. This has led to them working with over 70 clients worldwide using their sportsbook and casino solutions.
As we move ever closer to a fully global market in many industries like journalism, entertainment, and gaming, more moves like this are to be expected. The ability to cover several niche markets at once using a number of sites could prove to be a big advantage for G/O Media.
However, the success of this venture could ultimately depend upon whether they’ve learned any lessons from the Deadspin fiasco and manage to overhaul the brand without upsetting the staff or visitors.