Just six months after its creation, SAY Media is already going to the dogs: it’s acquired Dogster, a web community for dog-owners that draws around 2 million unique visitors a month. It’s a move that sounds confusing at first, but also brings some clarity to SAY Media’s mission. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
SAY Media was born last fall when popular advertising network VideoEgg acquired struggling blogging platform Six Apart, in a union that didn’t immediately make a whole lot of sense. But, as VideoEgg founder and SAY Media CEO Matt Sanchez explains, the site is now looking to leverage Six Apart’s technology to create a “modern vertical media company” focusing on niche communities of passionate users. And Dogster will be the first community of many to join the SAY Media network.
Dogster (and its sister site, Catster) got its start as a social network for dog owners. But after the rise of Facebook the site evolved into an editorial-based community for pet lovers. The company currently has a team of around five full-time staff focused on creating content (in addition to numerous contributors), who will be joining SAY Media’s team of 350 people.
Sanchez says we can expect SAY Media to acquire numerous other sites as it builds out out its roster of “interesting, passionate verticals”, which will include topics like food, home, lifestyle, and wellness. Some sites will also be created in-house.
Sanchez says that Dogster will continue to live on under its existing brand, though SAY Media will incorporate some of its best practices as far as encouraging user engagement and improving the site layout.
Disclosure: TechCrunch founder and editor Michael Arrington holds a small stake in Dogster.