Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gawker Cuts Weblog Distribution Deal with Yahoo: Leveraging the Value of Independence

Reuters reports along with other majors on the licensing of five of Gawker Media's leading weblogs for distribution via Yahoo. This comes only a few weeks after Jason Calacanis flipped all of his Weblogs, Inc. property to AOL. By interesting coincidence, Jason put out an email blast yesterday looking for a new Web programmer to support Weblogs, Inc. operations. Perhaps his tech support didn't cotton to the new realities of AOL? Who's to say, but at the end of the day Nick Denton's Gawker Media approach seems to be the one that will win out in the end, offering its high-profile authors a multitude of sophisticated marketing channels through which to market their talents. In an earlier post I compared the selloff of Weblogs, Inc. to movie stars in the 1940s who were wedded to their studio contracts, slowly dying on the vine as television pumped up anonymous performers into household names. Gawker's moves tend to emphasize this analogy, with Denton acting as the savvy agent for his stable of independent properties to get them the best individual deals in the best venues. Kudos to Nick Denton for cutting an attractive licensing deal that maintains the position of his properties on the Web while offering them a powerful marketing channel via a leading portal. 'Tis the way to do it...
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