Still, considering the fact that Tumblr still does over 2.5 billion page views per month , not even counting their mobile usage, I can't help but gawk at what a steal Automattic got. Really drives home what their CEO Matt Mullenweg said on here the other day about adopting a "Berkshire model"—although he was referring to independent management, what he's really talking about is buying companies grossly undervalued for dirt-cheap. Just monetizing the web traffic 2.5 billions monthly hits at a $1 CPM alone would generate $2.5 million a month in revenue, $30 million annually.
What kind of business, let alone web business, sells for 1/10th annual revenue? For reference, Reddit does 6x the page views, but is valued at $3 billion. Reddit's prospects are obviously better, but are they 1000/6 = 166x times better per current page view? Mind-boggling.
This is not the Berkshire model at all. Berkshire buys businesses that have high cash flow models where money can compound over and over, usually in well established businesses that have operational issues that can be optimized for cash flow.
> Just monetizing the web traffic 2.5 billions monthly hits at a $1 CPM alone would generate $2.5 million a month in revenue, $30 million annually.
That napkin math doesn't take into consideration:
- hosting costs
- software maintenance cost
- sales & marketing required to drive $30M/year
- Decrease in traffic due to ads
> What kind of business, let alone web business, sells for 1/10th annual revenue?
Retail does...retail. Hate to break it to you, but businesses aren't bought and sold on revenue (despite what TC tells you). It's usually on a multiple of earnings or discounted free cash flow. Note - it's important to remember that DCF can get real fuzzy and hence why its much easier for media to just revert to "revenue".
> Reddit does 6x the page views, but is valued at $3 billion.
And Tumblr's valuation was once $1.1B and they couldn't monetize it. How is that comparable a valuable reference point?
Compared to revenue, hosting cost is next to nothing for sites like Tumblr that serve text/image content. A similar video site would need to spend a ton of money on bandwidth, streaming CDNs, encoding servers, etc.
If you get 2.5 million hits a month, it is certainly possible to cover the said selling price of $3m in ads alone in a month.
How do you figure? That would be over $1 per hit.
home_project123 at protonmail dot com
It is non-yukky and does not affect your content/users
Unfortunately, they're private, profitable, and to my knowledge not seeking investment, otherwise I'd buy a slice of them in a heartbeat.
Meanwhile, Twitter and Reddit are massive social networks with millions of daily active users.
Obviously they haven't been able to do that yet. There's a chance those platforms are very over-valued... but you can see where some people think the golden goose is.
It's kind of hard to put a monetary value on a product that is free
Keeping most of the 200 employees on payroll may have been a condition of the $3m sale price.
Verizon, not Yahoo.
Yahoo wrote down almost the entire value of Tumblr before the Verizon acquisition
A business that is losing a lot of money and shrinking. Automattic have to invest a lot more than $3M to keep Tumblr alive and turn it around (200 employees) - the total investment isn't just the acquisition cost
With the headline figure it might seem like a nobrainer but Automattic could end up spending years investing in a turnaround that never happens
> One of the things that really surprised me is I thought — as probably many do — that Tumblr had kind of died under its variety of corporate parents. And then actually being able to see some of the numbers, including some the numbers post-when they changed the adult content policy. I was like, “Wow, this has still got a ton going on.”
Yeah ok, whatever.
I don't doubt that it's still a viable business, I don't care.
I feel a deep pain every time I think about it. Something beautiful was destroyed with no remorse. The world is worse off because of it. It feels like tearing down statues of the buddha. The one place on the internet where one could explore explicit sexuality without feeling gross and exploited. I will never forgive this destruction of a beautiful culture. The whole thing makes my blood boil.
Also keep in mind a decent chunk of the adult content was literally automated bot spam.
Meanwhile, Statista's graph appears to be made of random numbers with no basis in reality whatsoever. They claim that even post-adult-content-ban, Tumblr has more MAUs than Twitter and Snapchat combined. Factor in Tumblr's 70% drop vs historic peak usage, and you'd end up with a number claiming Tumblr was once the most popular tech product on earth. This is quite obviously a complete fabrication.
If you want to be sad or angry about something, the loss of old peak Tumblr -- when it combined the best aspects of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit -- is a better target in my mind. Its decline was long and slow over many years.
(Disclosure: I was one of Tumblr's first engineers, and later director of platform engineering. I had no involvement whatsoever in the adult content ban, but nonetheless find it frustrating when people significantly overstate the amount of adult content on Tumblr. At its peak it contained an extremely diverse set of communities, and I fear this is being completely lost in revisionist rhetoric.)
It's about having a safe community for self expression through sexual art. It's about a set of deeply regressive (American) cultural norms that stifle sexual expression and further marginalize non-normative individuals. It's about the death of a vibrant community that made people feel included and valued. It's about sex-positivity. It's about destigmatizing overt sexual expression.
The steady drop over time is concerning, but these numbers show tumbler has still got a ton going on.
It's important to remember that Tumblr never turned a profit; as far as I've been able to determine it never hit the break-even point. And the bottom line is that a giant service that's losing money is worse to own than a tiny service that's losing money. Verizon's attempt to kick out the NSFW parts wasn't simple-mindedness or prudishness, it was a calculated risk that a smaller but SFW Tumblr might be able to at least make enough money to pay for itself.
Having said that, it's also important to note that Tumblr still gets a lot of traffic; by most measures it's still in the top 100 most visited sites on the Internet, and gets more traffic than Wordpress.com -- Automattic's closest "competing" product -- does.
Verizon had ATH - AOL, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, then bought and added yahoO to the group, hence the name.
Yes, that is exactly how uninspired these corporate names are.
While it's obviously well known within these circles, engadget is approximately equivalently sized (see Alexa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engadget vs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TechCrunch ), and even when the company was described internally by its components they were AOL, Yahoo and sometimes also VDMS (which had been transferred to AOL from Verizon pre-Yahoo acquisition).
The name is dumb, we all agreed. As clearly did Verizon, since the company has been renamed since. But it was dumb in the sense of the CEO had a dumb idea that didn't translate well to other markets and not "The CEO had an even dumber idea and marketed it as being a slightly less dumb idea"
I just remember seeing a bunch of press releases of how Yahoo would be folded into the group led by the former AOL CEO, and that that group also contained TechCrunch and HuffPo. It felt weird that just those two were often mentioned together with AOL, and the initials lining up...?
From what I recall, Tim Armstrong claimed the name reflected Verizon's promise to do right by AOL and Yahoo, or some other such complete nonsense. Internally, everyone I knew thought it was on par with Tronc for worst rebrand ever.
I was at Yahoo until just before the sale to Verizon, which happened because the first attempt at spinning off the Alibaba shares tax-free failed. In the first attempt, Yahoo created a new company called Aabaco, which super conveniently could reasonably apply for the stock ticker AABA. (Alibaba had BABA)
When the first attempt failed, they needed an ALTernative solution, so they sold the core business to Verizon, and promptly renamed the company from Yahoo to Altaba and changed their stock ticker from YHOO to AABA.
Meanwhile, the press were super confused about the name change and there were a bunch of articles with people speculating on the name change, wondering what the name meant, etc, etc, because noone apparently could imagine that the name change was exactly as lazy and uninspired and dumb as it was.
I am pretty sure the OATH name was thought up by the same fine minds, and that it was equally uninspired and dumb. If you and your colleagues inside Verizon smelled corporate bullshit, I think that just strengthens my case.
It does indeed make HN much easier to read.
Step 1: Generate 2.5 billion hits
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!