Now that Barry Diller’s IAC/InteractiveCorp. has agreed to buy About.com from the New York Times Co. for $300 million in cash, will the how-to and what’s-what site find it easier to make money?
About.com’s freelancers, who are decently paid by Internet standards, do stories and videos on A to Z topics – including many how-to articles and videos on everything from cooking to card games. Here’s what it offers on “Entrepreneurs,” for instance.
In statements from IAC executives, there is a lot of talk about synergies. That sometimes means companies can reduce payroll by combining certain operations.
We asked IAC’s corporate communications if Ask.com plans to keep the About.com freelancers (guides).
Justine Sacco responded via email: “Yes. Their content is what makes about such a valuable (acquisition) for ask.com.”
But the site has struggled to attract advertising and revenue.
Synergies may boost revenue at both sites
IAC, which outbid Answers.com for the site, publishes competitor Ask.com. Greg Blatt, CEO of IAC, sees synergies he believes may help it correct that.
In a statement he said, “About.com’s content will differentiate and greatly increase the authority of Ask.com’s offerings, while Ask’s expertise in search technology and user experience will improve the discoverability of existing content on About.com.”
He added, “The complementary nature of these two businesses will provide significant synergies going forward, and thus we expect that About.com will generate more profit as a part of Ask.com and IAC than it has been able to over the last few years.”
With nearly 1,000 topic sites and more than three million unique articles, About.com is one of the most comprehensive content and reference libraries on the Internet, offering expert, quality content across 90,000 topics that helps users find solutions to a wide range of daily needs.
Globally, nearly 100 million unique users visit About.com on a monthly basis. Ask.com, with more than 100 million users globally of its own, is one of the leading search and Q&A platforms on the internet.
“This is a rare merger with true bilateral synergies,” said Joey Levin, CEO of IAC Search & Applications.
“On the one hand, the Ask.com search and content business has generated exceptional revenue and profit growth by marketing and distributing a quality consumer search and Q&A experience, and About provides Ask with a tremendous amount of quality content to further enhance that experience and the credibility of the Ask brand. ”
About.com also owns ConsumerSearch.com and CalorieCount.com
The About Group will join IAC’s Search and Applications reporting segment, joining Ask.com, Dictionary.com, Mindspark, nRelate, and Pronto. The segment has seen double-digit growth the last two years.
IAC also owns Match.com and OKCupid and has a controlling interest in Newsweek/Daily Beast Co.
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