It turns out FanDuel, a premium sports fantasy game, has sucked all the small startups resources, and proved a bigger winner amongst HubDub’s newspaper customers. FanDuel announced it’s first distribution partner last week with the Philly.com newspaper site.
Hubdub .com’s community of volunteer editors have effectively been running the site for the past 12 months and the site’s traffic has clearly suffered from this lack of attention. Close competitor TheStandard.com has also closed.
Hubdub was effectively a news prediction game designed to increased page impressions on partner newspaper sites, allowing newspapers to generate more traffic out of news e.g. Who will be the next President of the US?. It had landed Reuters and The Independent as partners but not been able to grow beyond those.
But, as cofounder Lesley Eccles explained to me: “Newspapers don’t need more page impressions in this economy – they simply can’t sell ad space for the impressions they have already, nevermind looking for more. Newspapers need something that will generate revenue, pure and simple. And if it can be with little or no effort on their part and doesn’t involve selling ad space, then so much the better. That is what FanDuel provides.”
Five part-time administrators for Hubdub based in the US will be laid-off but FanDuel, which is US focused, is already hiring new people with different skill sets.
Pentech, backers of Hubdub Ltd which owns FanDuel, remains an investor.