Pete Cashmore’s Mashable is being sold to Ziff Davis for less than $50million. This was the same company that was valued at $250 million last year when Time Warner’s Turner led a $15 million investment round.
This deal will also see Mashable refocusing on tech and tech-lifestyle content and the retrenchment of about 50 employees. Some other Mashable employees will be offered jobs at other Ziff Davis publications. According to Recode, sources close to the transaction say that the founder and CEO Pete Cashmore will stay with the company.
The collapse of Mashable is not unconnected to the increasing skepticism about online publishers that depend on digital advertising, as Google and Facebook eat up increasing amounts of that market. These two behemoths have made other publishing platforms unattractive when compared to their reach. Companies like Buzzfeed have been affected by their onslaught such that the company announced that it was laying off 100 employees, about 6% of its staff, in its search for new revenue streams. BuzzFeed has started re-evaluating its advertising model following news earlier this month that it missed 2017 revenue targets.
Ziff Davis is a digital media subsidiary of tech company J2. It specializes in running low-cost publishers that generate a significant amount of their revenue from “affiliate commerce” — usually executed via in-text links which pay the publisher when a reader clicks on the link, or buys something after clicking on the link.
Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company, created by Pete Cashmore from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, in July 2005. Time noted Mashable as one of the 25 best blogs in 2009, and it has been described as a “one stop shop” for social media.