AnandTech Acquired By Purchby Ryan Smith on December 17, 2014 3:30 PM EST
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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.
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ET - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkInnocent until proven guilty? That's not the internet way!
Stuka87 - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkPeople like you that block the Ads are part of the reason AnandTech was not profitable enough to stay independent. If you truly cared about this site and enjoyed it, you would turn off the stupid add block software.
StevoLincolnite - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkYou imply that Anandtech has the right to advertising revenue from it's audience.
News flash: It's not.
There have been multiple instances when Anandtech and Dailytech's advert delivery systems had been infected by malicious maleware/greyware/spyware/virus/other nasties, which was in-turn passed onto users who did not block adverts.
It is simply safer to block adverts.
Internet is faster if you block adverts.
You save money with internet caps you block adverts.
You save even more money if with power consumption if you block adverts.
Personally, I only visited Anandtech for Dailytech.
And I only visited Dailytech for Anandtech.
Thus I will now visit neither.
Kristian Vättö - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkYou can't have your cake and eat it. If everyone shared your view on this, there would be no free content on the Internet (or all free content would be sponsored content i.e. native advertisements). AnandTech isn't a special business that runs on fairy powder, and neither do us editors. Just like in any other business money is needed to pay salaries and other expenses to keep the firm operating.
We have never run malicious or disturbing ads on purpose and as soon as we have gotten the heads up the ad has been taken down.
FunBunny2 - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkHere's the problem: some of us have never, and never will, click an advert site. Too many nasties be there. Unless, of course, you've got an advert pusher who gets paid just for the fact of display. And that isn't any different from the newspaper model; and we know what's happened there. Those who choose to block ads do so because they've no intention of going down that rabbit hole. Both you and the advert pusher have, in fact, lost nothing.
Kristian Vättö - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkEven the view helps us financially. From the about page:
"Success in our advertising campaigns is measured by both the number of times an ad is loaded/viewed and the number of clicks an ad receives. Even if you have no intentions of clicking on an ad, the view itself helps support AnandTech."
So yes, even if you have zero intention of clicking an ad, you can support us by whitelisting AnandTech in your adblocker.
FlyTexas - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkThat is fine that you take the ad down, but you also have to (or should have to) pay damages to anyone infected.
Does the ad income provide enough of a cushion to do that? If not, then you shouldn't be running the adds.
You are responsible for everything on your site, including the ads. Until web sites start compensating victims for malware from ads, I'll continue to block them.
stadisticado - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - linkI could understand your perspective if you paid to Anandtech to view their website directly and then malicious code struck your computer within their 'paid' walled garden. On the free internet, I'd consider a better analogy to be if a roadside political poster or a sign spinner struck your car with their sign by accident. In those cases, the sign installer or sign spinner might be liable for striking your car, but not the object of the advertisement.
In the same way, ad-serving companies are at fault for malicious ads. Not the website or metaphorical roadway where you're struck by them.
FlyTexas - Friday, December 19, 2014 - linkI see your point, but in this case, the sign installer or sign spinner was picked by the political poster and is paid by the spinner.
There is a financial relationship, so AT has a duty of care that they don't pick sign spinners that cause harm.
If a business hires a sign spinner and the spinner damages your car, rest assured the business is liable.
StevoLincolnite - Friday, December 19, 2014 - linkWho says I want my content free?
Anandtech has never given me a choice on the matter.
You may not have intentionally ran the questionable advertising, you may not have intended for your viewers to loose their time and money.
But the fact is... It did happen, multiple times. Do not expect for users to reciprocate and leave themselves vulnerable.
This is where capitalism, which I am a big proponent of, comes into play.
If you run a business model that relies on advertising revenue... And that revenue enters into decline, then you need to adapt and change and look towards other business models for growth... Or fall into obscurity.
This is where innovation and out-side-of-the-box thinking can change the landscape dramatically.
Again, you are not entitled to our advertising revenue, in-fact you lost my trust years ago in that regard.
And I ask everyone to block adverts, the internet is a faster, safer and better place without them.