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According to figures from comScore, web traffic at Quartz — the business site launched last year by Atlantic Media — has grown so rapidly that the site now has more unique visitors per month than The Economist and almost as many as the Financial Times, at 2 million. The Economist disputes those figures, saying its unique visitors are actually closer to 4 million a month, but Quartz’s growth is still impressive for a new publication.

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  1. MI,

    Interesting data points, as always.

    But here is some fodder for a future post – take a look at Salon’s financials.

    Unlike many websites, their financials are publicly available and somewhat disaggregated.

    They have monthly uniques in the millions…and cumulative losses of over $100 million…

    Continual CPM erosion makes it hard out here for a journo…

    1. Can you provide the link to Salon’s financials?

    2. The publishers of premium digital content that I know aren’t really experiencing CPM erosion. Sure, there’s a continuous fountain of content in general, but a fairly limited supply of in depth, high-quality analysis and research.

  2. SK,

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=SLNM+Balance+Sheet&annual

    Look at the “retained earnings” line – that is cumulative losses.

    For much more detail, here is Salon’s 10K –

    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1084332/000143774913008089/slnm20130618_10k.htm

    (Search on “accumulated deficit” in the 10K – which also reports Salon getting over 10 million uniques(!) per month in December 2012…while generating a paltry $3 million plus in 2012 revenue)

    As for “premium content” I tend to think it is much more of a media salesperson’s pitch than a marketplace reality.

    I wish “quality” journalism were valued more highly than “general content” but I see almost no evidence of that in the marketplace.

    It is the exceptionally rare publisher who doesn’t have a *huge* amount of excess ad space supply (thus the continually falling CPMs).

    (This is the ultimate reason the internet is awash in “miracle berry”, “amazing whitener”, and “one weird trick” ads).

    If people think carefully about it, the internet really has infinite ad space (additional page demand = immediate additional page delivery = additional ad spaces created).

    Unlike say, television, there is really no limitation on very low cost ad space creation at all.

    Without any real scarcity in supply, prices (CPMs) are going to collapse over time.

    That is why TV gets $10+ CPMs and banner ads get, what, 50 cents?

    Programmatic buying is going to make things – much, much worse.

  3. Somewhat apples-and-oranges comparison. FT and (especially) The Economist are covering world affairs, especially politics, systematically, from on-the-ground reporters. Quartz’s output seems to be a standard, slightly chaotic mix of economic breaking news, opinion (cheap!), and whatever else it can find. Unlike The Economist, it does not have in-depth political analysis from multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa, week in week out. But congratulations anyway!

  4. Are all three sites directly measured by Comscore or is the conclusion based on estimates?

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