Guardian Media sells paidContent to GigaOm

Dylan Stableford
The Cutline

It's been awhile since we've had one, but here's a media merger worth noting: PaidContent, the website founded by Rafat Ali to analyze the economics of Web content, and how to make money producing it, has been sold by its current owners, Guardian News & Media Limited, to GigaOM, a Web-based technology media company with a similar mission.

Terms of the deal--which had been rumored for a couple weeks--were not disclosed.

"The ethos of PaidContent and our company are in sync," Om Malik, the founder of GigaOM, wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.

Malik said the addition of PaidContent and PaidContent U.K.'s dozen-plus staffers will "help bolster our presence in New York and help increase our footprint in Europe, a region of key strategic focus for GigaOM." The deal also comes with two other properties owned by paidContent parent company ContentNext: a site covering mobile content and one covering India's online media industry.

"As you all know, I am (and will always be) a displaced New Yorker," Malik wrote. "New York City is my spiritual home. By increasing our footprint in the capital of the world, I would get a chance to go back more often. But it's not an emotional tug that is driving us to this decision. New York is fast becoming a major technology hub."

Executives at GigaOm were not immediately available for further comment.

The other common denominator here is Ali, who sits on GigaOm's advisory board and engineered the 2008 sale of PaidContent to The Guardian for approximately $6.5 million.

But PaidContent was a bit of a strange fit for the Guardian, which last year relaunched a digital U.S. version of its flagship publication, setting up shop in New York. The company put PaidContent up for sale in November.

"The Guardian's focus in the US is on building," Andrew Miller, CEO of the Guardian Media Group, said in a statement. "But we look forward to seeing paidContent thrive and grow in its new home and wish its staff all the very best for the future."

PaidContent averages about 500,000 unique visitors a month worldwide, according to Quantcast estimates. attracts about 2.3 million.

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