‘Real, Meaningful Revenue Driver’: BDG Beefs Up Culture & Innovation Portfolio

Gawker, Inverse, Input and Mic are just the beginning

by Mark Sternberg (AdAge) – July 30, 2021

As Bustle Digital Group expands, the publisher once known for its lifestyle brands has developed a particular taste for a different kind of coverage.

Beginning in late 2018 when it acquired Mic, BDG has built out what it calls the Culture & Innovation portfolio, a group of publications either acquired or launched that explore the intersection of tech and culture. In addition to Mic, these include Inverse, Input and the recently relaunched Gawker. As part of this expansion, BDG has named Joshua Topolsky, founder of the now-defunct The Outline, as chief content officer of the portfolio. (…)

Compiling these complementary titles gives BDG “relevant scale,” said Scott Bender, partner and global head of client strategy at Prohaska Consulting. The size of BDG makes it more appealing from a financial perspective, but the assets the publisher has collected also make sense strategically, he added.

Investors in the past decade or so shunned ad tech as the sector’s companies struggled to compete with ad giants like “Thanks to their tech acquisitions, BDG will have more opportunity to play with monetization outside of advertising, like commerce,” Bender said. “The acquisition also helps them with their data needs, because the more signals they can gather, the more accurate a user picture they can create for advertisers.”

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