Some pageviews are worth more than others, but when it comes to a benchmark to impress advertisers, Gawker Media head Nick Denton (pictured, left) believes that unique users are the better bet. That appears to be a stark change of heart from what Denton has valued previously. In a staff memo obtained by The Awl, Denton says that shifting away from pageviews and putting the emphasis on uniques will encourage more original reporting, and will “reward sites which recruit new readers rather than pandering to a well-established clique.”
According to the latest comScore numbers, Gawker.com and its related site network, which include the gadget guide Gizmodo and sports blog Deadspin, have posted significant growth. In December, Gawker.com’s uniques more than doubled to 1.2 million, while Gawker Media collectively grew 32 percent to 7.1 million total uniques, per comScore (NSDQ: SCOR). (In an e-mail message, Denton cites Quantcast figures that show Gawker Media’s uniques are about 14 million).
Last May, despite boasting of continued healthy ad growth, Denton told AdAge he temporarily suspended the pageview bonus system in the face of the weak economy. At the time, he also argued that pageview bonuses demonstrated value for original reporting, claiming that Gawker