LGBT media is undergoing a big consolidation with Q.Digital’s announcement Tuesday that it is rolling up a number of online properties into a single digital media company targeting the LGBT community.
Q.Digital, formerly known as GayCities Inc., is consolidating its existing properties, GayCities and Queerty, with recent acquisitions, LGBTQ Nation, Dragaholic and Bilerico Project, to form a LGBT media powerhouse with scale exceeding some of the category’s incumbent companies.
Founded by CEO Scott Gatz in 2008, GayCities is a city guide for LGBT consumers, with reviews of hotels, restaurants, nightlife and cultural offerings in 224 cities around the world. Queerty, which covers a range of news, entertainment and lifestyle topics with a casual and often humorous tone, was founded in 2005 and acquired by GayCities Inc. in 2011.
More recently, the company acquired LGBTQ Nation, which covers LGBT news including politics, legal issues and advocacy; Dragaholic, focused on the busy drag queen community; and Bilerico Project, a community of LGBT bloggers focused on political advocacy.
In the consolidation, GayCities, Queerty and LGBTQ Nation will remain standalone properties, while Dragaholic will become a channel on Queerty and Bilerico Project will become a channel on LGBTQ Nation.
In announcing the consolidation, Gatz noted that the Q.Digital’s combined properties recently surpassed incumbents like Here Media, owner of Out, The Advocate and Gay.com, among other properties, as well as the Gay Ad Network, in terms of monthly unique visitors.
According to Quantcast’s ranking of online networks, in August 2015 Q.Digital had 4.5 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S., compared to 3.8 million for Here Media (it should be noted that in September Here Media was again larger, with 5.7 million U.S. uniques, versus 4.6 million for Q.Digital).Gatz noted that Q.Digital has also landed a number of new advertising clients, including Hyatt and Skyy Vodka, which ran a campaign highlighting the spirits brand’s support of marriage equality around the historic Supreme Court decision this summer.
Q.Digital also has a number of repeat advertisers over the last several years, including HBO, Lexus, Kimpton and American Airlines. Q.Digital retains longstanding ad relationships with an array of city tourism bureaus touting LGBT-friendly destinations.