August 15, 2014 Last Updated 12:15 pm

Salon Media reports a 60% increase in traffic, but revenue remains low

Web property expenses increase, as does its new income loss for Q1 of fiscal 2015 reporting period

Press Release:

NEW YORK, NY – August 14, 2014 — Salon Media Group, Inc. announced its results for the three months ended June 30, 2014.

Highlights:

  • Net revenue was $1.2 million
  • Unique visitors to Salon.com grew 60% compared to the same period last year
  • Salon.com reached all-time-high traffic of 17.6 million users for month of June 2014
  • Mobile readers grew 122% compared to same quarter last year
  • Social media referral traffic grew 121% compared to the same quarter last year and 37% compared to previous quarter

Net revenue for the period was $1.2 million, unchanged with the $1.2 million reported for the three months ended June 30, 2013.

Operating expenses for the three months ended June 30, 2014 rose 11% to $2.1 million compared to $1.9 million for the same period last year. The $0.2 million increase resulted primarily from higher stock-based compensation and an increase in professional fees. The Company’s loss from operations for the three months ended June 30, 2014 was $0.9 million, compared to a loss of $0.7 million for the same period last year.

Unique visitors to the Salon.com Website are an important driver for Salon’s business as achieving scale should increase the Website’s attractiveness to advertisers. Unique visitors to the Salon.com Website during the June 2014 quarter increased 60% compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2013, and increased 20% compared to the prior quarter ended March 31, 2014, according to data compiled by Google Analytics. Unique visitors as measured by comScore Media Metrix increased 24% compared to the quarter ended March 31, 2014, and no comparable data was available for the June 2013 quarter. The comScore analysis, which uses a panel-centric methodology to collect data, is a new measurement that includes mobile traffic and has been compiled only since July 2013. Salon reached a new traffic milestone in June 2014, when it recorded monthly users for the Salon.com website of 17.6 million users, an all-time high for the website, as measured by Google Analytics, and 12.4 million users as measured by comScore.

Salon continues to experience strong increases in mobile readers, which grew 122% in the June 2014 quarter compared to the same quarter last year, and 21% compared to the March 2014 quarter. The Company continues to see a significant shift to readers accessing Salon from mobile devices, with 56% of users visiting the Website from mobile devices in the month of June 2014.

Salon’s traffic has also been fueled by social media referral traffic, which grew 37% in the June 2014 quarter versus the March 2014 quarter, and 121% compared to the same period in the prior year. Facebook continues to be the largest social media referral, and grew 42% compared to the March 2013 quarter, and 231% compared to the June 2013 quarter. Twitter and Reddit also grew strongly in the June 2014 quarter, increasing 34% and 133% respectively over the March 2014 quarter.

During the June 2014 quarter, Salon writer, Heather “Digby” Parton, won a Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis writing. Salon was also a 2014 honoree by the Webby Awards for best writing. Both awards highlight Salon’s unwavering goal to achieve fearless journalism, brilliant writing and essential analysis.

“The growth and expansion of mobile platforms and social media continues to impact the way media companies are attracting and interacting with their audiences, as does the importance of delivering immersive content that keeps users engaged,” said Cynthia Jeffers, CEO of Salon Media Group. “We are responding to these market demands with a continued focus on high quality content, innovative sales products, upgraded user experiences on mobile, and strategic hires to continue delivering the quality content and advertising experiences our readers and partners have come to expect. This strategy is clearly paying off, with audience growth at an all-time high of 17.6 million unique visitors in June and 60% growth over last year. Our focus on these core principals continues to provide opportunity for future growth.”

SalonMedia-Q1-2014

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