Just as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft regularly by startups to fill in gaps in their technology or business, media companies may be starting to do the same on the content side. Today, CondeNet (the digital arm of magazine publisher Conde Nast) bought SFO Media, which operates two travel blogs: Jaunted and HotelChatter. The first is a travel guide and the second is a hotel-review blog.
The price of the deal wasn’t disclosed, but SFO Media founder Mark Johnson is basically being hired to keep running the sites, which will continue to run separately but be combined with Concierge.com business.
It can use the help. Concierge.com’s worldwide unique visitors (blue line in chart below) dropped from a peak of 2 million last October to 700,000 last March, according to comScore. (Part of this decline can be attributed to the seasonal nature of the travel business). Meanwhile, the combined worldwide traffic of Jaunted (red line) and HotelChatter (green line) in March was about 875,000 unique visitors. So two mildly successful blogs just doubled the advertising inventory that Concierge.com’s sales people can sell.