What the Techcrunch deal means

Congratulations to Michael Arrington and team on the TechCrunch acquisition by AOL. Techcrunch is a leading Silicon Valley technology blog ranked 302 on Alexa’s worldwide rankings and near to being one of the top 100 largest sites in the US.

The terms of the deal have not been made public, however AOL will be required to make an SEC filing in the next few days if the amount is “material”. AFP says various reports put the purchase price at between US$25-million and US$40-million.

Building a media company is hard work and Arrington has certainly put in the hours. The TechCrunch editorial team is now quite large and it is that teams’ work over the past couple of years that has built the traffic that AOL wants.

It will be interesting to see how much, if at all, TechCrunch owners will share their bounty with their reporters. After all, without the writers there isn’t a TechCrunch.

But online reporters are a dime a dozen in today’s troubled media industry, salaries are small and there is likely little incentive to offer a share of any windfalls.

The acquisition also means that AOL passed on competing TechCrunch sites such as Mashable, VentureBeat, GigaOm, and ReadWriteWeb. Those sites will now face a competitor that has a more formidable distribution network and advertising sales team.

Will the deal attract others? Will Yahoo, for example now come and pick through the TechCrunch competitors? Will Mashable be next? It is certainly closest to TechCrunch in traffic.



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