Another pure play digital publisher may be snapped up by a legacy media company in the near future, with this week bringing news of a possible deal by tech and enthusiast publisher Ziff Davis to buy Mashable, the popular online news platform, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news.
An acquisition by Ziff Davis would give Mashable access to more resources as it continues to negotiate its pivot to video, an often rocky transition that has the entire online publishing world scrambling. And which has proven especially challenging for sites like Mashable, which have long focused on text-based publishing.
Mashable, founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005, first revealed it was seeking a buyer back in August, when it confirmed it had hired LionTree Advisors to explore a possible sale. Previously, the publisher completed a number of rounds of funding, including a $15 million infusion from Time Warner in March 2016, which Mashable said it would use to develop video.
Ziff Davis, acquired by Internet services provider J2 Global Inc. for $167 million in 2012, has been steadily building a pure-play digital publishing business, with acquisitions targeting niche and enthusiast sites like AskMen.com, Geek.com, and ExtremeTech, a blog.
Ziff Davis also made a failed bid for the network of sites owned by Gawker Media, which was instead acquired by Univision in August 2016.
Other digital publishers are also making moves.
Earlier this month, Business Insider revealed plans to launch a subscription offering called “BI Prime,” which targets readers who want access to its original financial news reporting.
Fusion Media unveiled a new food and pop-culture brand called The Takeout, a spinoff of the food vertical Supper Club, under FMG’s Chicago-based entertainment site The A.V. Club.
Also this month, Quartz debuted a lifestyle and culture standalone site called Quartzy, inspired by its popular newsletter of the same name.