Breitbart.com had 93.2 million visits in November. That made it nearly two-thirds the size of Gannett’s (NYSE: GCI) USAToday.com and nearly three times the size of Comcast’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) MSNBC.com. Its size tells a great deal about the nature of web audiences
Breitbart has started to suffer from cancellations by advertisers who do not want to be associated with the ultra-conservative site. That may hurt its profitability. Certainly its size is not the issue. In November its total visits rose 8.9% from October, according to SimilarWeb which measures web traffic.
USAToday.com’s visits were 166.4 million. It is an established media brand which is three decades old and has promoted itself aggressively over that period. MSNBC.com, started as a joint venture between Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and NBC, had 39.2 million visits last month. It is part of one of America’s media conglomerates
Much of this goes to show the evolution of the web and internet content sites. Brands started by huge media companies, which consider themselves experts in new media, fail. Businesses like BuzzFeed and Business Insider have massive numbers of visitors. BuzzFeed’s valuation was recently set at $1.7 billion. Gannett, America’s largest newspaper chain, has a market cap of $1.1 billion. The Buzzfeed valuation was set by a $200 million investment by NBCUniversal, parent of MSNBC.
There is an argument to be made that attacks on Breitbart will increase its audience as readers within its target demographic rush to support the site. Something related happened at The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). The Trump election has apparently driven record levels of new subscriptions. The company said it added 132,000 paid subscriptions both to the newspaper and online since election day. The Times would have failed to add that amount without any special promotion
Breitbart content recently caused Kellogg (NYSE: K) and Allstate (NYSE: ALL) to pull advertising from the site. In the odd workings of the web, that may push Breitbart visits higher.
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