Business website newcomer BusinessInsider sent another shudder through the sector as its December audience reached 8.8 million unique visitors, according to research firm comScore. That puts it well ahead of the audience of troubled TheStreet.com (NASDAQ: TST), which posted a figure of 6.8 million, and the online division of TV network CNBC, which had 6.6 million unique visitors for the month. BI’s audience is drawing uncomfortably close to that of news and trading terminal company Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TR), which had 10.1 million unique visitors in December.
BI’s growth can no longer be described as simply a product of salacious stories about Wall St. wives or hedge fund mistresses. The site often scoops its competition on important stories. And the number of stories it runs now approaches 300 a day. The site also provides business and financial coverage 24 hours a day. With an editorial staff that must number more than 60, BI can cover as much ground as all but the sites owned by news organizations and Web portals.
BI has not entirely given up the sort of story that helped propel its growth. Among those are single, anonymous source stories –”Judging by This Angry Email, Marissa Mayer Hasn’t Yet Wowed ALL Yahoo Employees” — and pieces about underdressed women — “AD OF THE DAY: ‘Gymtimidation’ From Hot Girls In The Locker Room.”
Douglas A. McIntyre