paidContent site to be shuttered, to be incorporated into Gigaom’s new Media section
paidContent’s archives to remain at current URL “for a few more weeks”
The digital media website founded by Rafat Ali (now building the travel site Skift), paidContent, will soon get rolled up into the Gigaom website under a new section, Media.
paidContent was launched in 2002 and got a big boost in 2006 when the company, ContentNext, got funding from Greycroft Partners and others. About two years later the company was gobbled up by Guardian Media Group. Then early last year it was sold off to GigaOM (when it still have three capital letters in its name) which the Guardian became far more interested in pursuing its U.S. website strategy.
“paidContent has a rich legacy of cutting-edge media coverage, a place I called home for a little over a year before joining forces with Gigaom as part of our acquisition,” Tom Krazit wrote last night on the site. “And it has been a great fit, a blending of strong editorial cultures and values along with an East Coast presence that gives Om an excuse to watch the Yankees in person more often.”
Now, though, the site’s content will become part of Gigaom’s new media section, and its primary writers – Laura Owen, Matthew Ingram and Janko Roettgers – will be found there (though, they are really are found there already).
paidContent was originally launched to cover the growing trend of online websites charging for content, But the site has usually been highly consistent in its advocacy of paywalls versus ad-driven publishing, as Rafat Ali admitted in 2007.
“On a coverage/focus level, the site started covering the trend of online sites charging for content… at that time WSJ, Salon, TheStreet.com, NYT (for crosswords) and others started a trend,” he told Terry Heaton’s Pomo Blog. “It didn’t last as the economy and online advertising made a comeback. So since then, our coverage/focus is now reporting and analyzing all the ways in which content gets paid for, whether premium or ad-supported, or any other hybrid.”
With the growth of social media like Twitter, it is probably easier to migrate content to a new location as the journalists who have grown a following can continue to promote their stories – only the embedded URLs will change.