In an effort to go beyond Apple news and scoops, a play is being made by 9to5 .
9to5, the network of news sites that rose on the back of its frequent scoops of Apple newshas five verticals ranging from renewable energy.
The newest of those brands, Electrek, which launched in 2016, reports on the consumer market for renewable energy products and averages 17 million page views, according to Comscore data. Today its traffic is neck-and-neck with the publisher ’, and its staff consists of one freelancer and one reporter s decade-old Apple blog.
Founded in 2007 after the announcement of the iPhone, 9to5 claims to have found a formula for success without raising venture capital funding in publishing. Seth Weintraub, the company’s founder and publisher, said that 9to5 is rewarding (though regarding how much gain, Weintraub would only say, “we monetize well”-RRB- and employs 20 full-time staff members across news, engineering, and advertising sales. The headcount is double that if including freelancers and consultants that are external. (This reporter worked for 9to5 for seven months in 2015.)
The joint network, which includes Electrek, 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and DroneDJ, averages 40 million monthly views, according to Comscore. Weintraub said that although 9to5Mac is still the largest of the sites, Electrek finds itself taking the top spot in monthly reach.
“It was just a hobby at first,” Weintraub added about launching Electrek. “I saw it because I just bought a Tesla and nobody was writing anything intelligent about it. I understand how to write a blog, and it was kind of cool to return to basics. ”
Traffic on Electrek was doubling annually until recently, according to Comscore, a downturn that Weintraub features to “the law of large amounts ” — it’s just slower than what has come to be expected following years of VC-fueled growth in the business, he said.
9to5, which competes with Verizon-owned TechCrunch and Vox Media-owned The Verge, has also started ramping up its own podcast business and sponsored articles, with advertisers including Dandelion Energy and Wunder Capital. The organization, which publishes six podcasts across its verticals, typically costs $1,000 for a 30-second podcast place or $10,000 for a article on the Electrek website, according to Weintraub and advertisers who corroborated the data. He added that sponsored articles has become although he declined to say how much of the network ’ s 9to5 ’ s biggest growth driver for. The extra income has enabled the company to employ more non-editorial staff.
In its growth efforts, 9to5’s strategy is to locate where advertisers will likely pay higher CPMs. “I’m interested in drones. I have a friend who is interested in writing about drones,” Weintraub said. “And because drones are an item… advertisers pay high CPMs contrary to that. It ’s a low barrier for us guarantee a writer ’ s wages and to try it out. ”
9to5’s pay arrangement means salary is tied directly to the performance of each individual writer’s articles. Reporters at 9to5 are compensated primarily through advertisements embedded in their stories and directly connected to their AdSense accounts.
Weintraub said rsquo & 9to5 doesn;t have any plans put itself up for sale or to raise capital. Paywalls aren’t a viable option either, due to the “scoopy” nature of many of 9to5’s exclusives, which can quickly be aggregated on other sites. “We’d probably require a 15-second paywall,&rdquo.
The article Going beyond its Apple roots, 9to5 sees success in new verticals appeared first on Digiday.
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