Of course we can’t ignore the impact that blogging has had on online advertising in 2007, here’s the interview that I did with Jeremy Wright, CEO of b5media.
Any highlights for b5 Media last year that really shaped your business?
2007 was a huge growth year for b5, and I’m pretty positive I’ve started repressing some of the busier seasons As a company we really found our legs this year, pulled together a great team and really proved that our dream of providing great content to a hugely diverse audience around the world – powered by hyper niche blogs written by regular, passionate people really, really works!
In terms of key things that defined our year or surprised us (ie: wasn’t part of the original VC pitch), probably the most important points were 1) pursuing an aggressive acquisition path (we’ve now acquired 5 companies since funding) – which has pushed our growth for the year well above the 400% we’d projected and 2) beginning our rebranding of the company to accommodate our next evolution… you won’t see the fruits of that until summer of this year, but we spent a lot of 2007 strategizing and prepping for it!
Will blogging continue to grow in 2008? Any particular factors that will cause this growth?
Definitely. While the growth of personal blogging has slowed (it kind of had to eventually), the real future growth will be in blogging as media (or media as blogging). Already, it’s become normal for blogs to break stories roughly as often as traditional media, for bloggers to be on press lists, for blogs to embargo news, for blogs to get exclusives, etc. The reality is that blog medium is perfect for news, analysis and commentary. Over the course of 2008, we fully expect most mainstream media organizations to begin licensing content from companies like b5, we expect more readers to come online, expect more of them to continue looking for blogs… As an industry we’re expecting overall audience reach to grow by roughly 150%!
What can we expect from B5 Media in 2008? (more growth, acquisition, expansion, etc.)
“More” is probably a good word. I’m a pretty big fan of letting our actions speak for themselves without hyping them up too much… But since you asked, you can expect a fairly significant rebranding/relaunch of some kind, you can definitely keep your eyes open for us to hit the Top 10 online media companies list and we’ll do our best to release a few industry leading products, projects and events… Beyond those really vague items, let’s just see how the year goes and hope it’s as good as ’07!