AnandTech Acquired By Purchby Ryan Smith on December 17, 2014 3:30 PM EST
- Posted in
- Site Updates
Over the past several years AnandTech has grown to be much more than just a PC hardware review site. In fact, we consider ourselves to be just as much about the new mobile world as we do about the old PC world. We leveraged our understanding of component and system architecture in bringing a deeper, more analytical look to mobile silicon and devices. As we continued to invest in our mobile coverage and expertise, we found that readers, mobile component and device makers responded quite well to our approach.
AnandTech’s focus grew, but we quickly ran into a bottleneck when it came time to monetize that mobile content. Our mobile content did a great job of helping to grow the site (as well as bring new eyeballs to our traditional PC coverage as well). While we had no issues competing with larger corporate owned sites on the content front, when it came to advertising we were at a disadvantage. Our advantage in quality allowed us to make progress, but ultimately it became a numbers game. The larger corporate owned sites could show up with a network of traffic, substantially larger than what AnandTech could deliver, and land more lucrative advertising deals than we were able to. They could then in turn fund a larger editorial operation and the cycle continues.
AnandTech has been profitable since its inception; it’s been on a great growth curve these past couple of years and we’ve always been able to do more with less, but lately there’s been an increased investment in high quality content. It wasn’t that long ago where the only type of content seeing real investment was shallow, poorly researched and ultimately very cable-TV-news-like. More recently however we’ve seen a shift. Higher quality content is being valued and some big names (both on the publishing and VC fronts) have been investing in them. Honestly we haven’t seen a world like this in probably over a decade.
Before his departure, Anand spent almost a year meeting with all of the big names in the publishing space, both traditional and new media players. The goal was to find AnandTech a home with a partner that had a sustainable business model (similar to AnandTech’s), but could add the investment and existing reach to allow the site to better realize its potential. That search led to a number of interesting potential partners; it was a refreshing experience to say the least knowing that there are groups in the world who really value good content. Ultimately that search brought AnandTech to Purch.
Purch met the requirements: they have a sustainable business model, are profitable and have the sort of reach AnandTech needs to really hit the next level. More fundamentally however, Purch’s values are in line with AnandTech’s. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Purch acquired one of AnandTech’s biggest competitors in the late 1990s: Tom’s Hardware. Purch had already demonstrated a value for the sort of deep, long form content AnandTech was known for. In meeting with the Purch business and editorial teams, there was a clear interest in further developing AnandTech’s strengths as well as feeding back AnandTech’s learnings into the rest of the Purch family.
AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware remain editorially independent, and though no longer competitors, the goal is to learn from one another. To further invest in the areas that make us different, and together with the rest of the Purch family help to bring a higher standard of quality to the web.
The AnandTech team is staying in place and will continue to focus on existing coverage areas. We’re not changing our editorial policies or analytical approach and have no intentions of doing so. The one thing that will change is our ability to continue to grow the site. This if anything starts from the top; with a publisher to more directly handle the business of AnandTech, this frees me up to spend more time on content creation and helping the rest of our editors put together better articles. And in a hands-on business like journalism that benefit cannot be overstated.
AnandTech was an incredibly powerful force as an independent publisher, but it now joins a family whose combined traffic is eight times larger than what AnandTech was on its own. Our goal is to continue to invest in what we feel is the right approach to building high quality content; now we have an even greater ability to do just that.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Drumsticks - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - linkEdit: I will add that Anandtech has much better content than Toms Hardware, along with being much less ad-infested as well. The main page of tomshardware shows up with *TWENTY SIX* ads. Some of it might be the background or something, but that's just ridiculous. Meanwhile, Anandtech blocks like two ads. Please don't go that way.
On the other hand, maybe the influx of cash will bring an actual edit button :)
otherwise - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - linkI might be hugely biased, but I think Anandtech was much better than Tom's before the purchase, so it's not causation.
Senti - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - linkI can say that content of Anandtech lately was far from uniform: one awesome article, several good, several awful.
FlyTexas - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkLately? :) I've been reading AnandTech since nearly the start, it has been a long time since it was all goodness. :)
Drumsticks - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - linkThat I definitely can't weigh in on. I didn't start reading until about three years ago or so, and I believe Toms was already purchased then.
JFP - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkTom's was purchased by Purch in July 2013. Prior to that it had passed through the hands of several companies.
letsreboot - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link+1. Also, Tom's used to be comparable some years ago (before the "Best of Media") era.
Another +1 to @Senti's post below ref. perceived variable quality of published articles in the post-Anand era.
Sad reality is that it's all about the $$$/profits in the end.
Dug - Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - linkYes most businesses are. But it's also about sustainability going forward. There's only so long you can work at minimum wage before you realize you would like something better in life.
Money equals happy workers. Happy workers equals better content.
Wolfpup - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkWhen was Tom's bought? It's still one of the hardware sites I go to, but maybe a decade ago I kind of switched to Anandtech as my main one.
This is kind of sad, but I hope doesn't spell disaster. It's nuts that they had to do that to get ad revenue! I don't even KNOW of what big hardware sites these would be. Cnet maybe? IMO they're not worthless, but are more complementary than a competitor IMO since they can review a lot more stuff but obviously aren't very in depth and don't really cover technology.
chang3d - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkFor the longest time, Tom's was mostly posting Apple related news. I remember I was one of those guys who hit them on that in the comments, which got me banned for a week... I brought up the question why did Apple WDC get 20 articles and Google IO only got 1? Later Tom's defended itself by saying Apple news drives up hit counts, despite the fact most comments on those articles were overwhelming negative. It's like 10 of the 15 most recent articles were on Apple and expect us not to click on at least one of them to complain about why there are SO MANY Apple articles. So I quit Tom's.
But, since Purch got Tom's, Tom's is now a more balanced hardware news site. I would say that Purch has done a pretty good job.