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May 10, 2009

TechCrunch Leaves Federated Media; Will Manage Own Ad Sales

Mike Arrington said months ago that the TechCrunch-Federated Media marriage was in trouble—he called it a "love/hate relationship"—and now he says it can't be saved. TechCrunch is leaving the ad network founded by John Battelle because, according to Arrington in a TC post, "we're finally getting big enough to matter directly to advertisers and agencies." Instead, TechCrunch will control its own sales.

Giga Omni Media, also among the early high-profile FM members, left late last year for a more niche-oriented solution with IDG TechNetwork. In January, we reported that FM was restructuring to devote more resources to conversational marketing and less on traditional display; Arrington complained at the time about the way it was handled. But this parting appears to be a lot more amicable. On the FM blog, Neil Chase referred "differences" over the years but stressed the accomplishments over nearly four years. Arrington, in turn, credits FM with helping him make enough to hire his first staff and to grow. That growth includes CEO Heather Harde, who will be responsible for the new ad strategy.

Niceties aside, what's the impact on FM? Chase says they didn't want to lose TC as a partner but the impact isn't great "because we continue to take on great partners and we've taken on far more tech inventory in the last 12 months than we've lost." He wouldn't go into revenue details but based on some of my research earlier this year, my estimate is that TC could have been responsible for $2 million or less of the $39-40 million in revenues FM told us it brought in during 2008. Is it a hit? Yes. But it looks like less of one than it might have been during a hot ad market.

TC stats: Arrington offers some stats: 5.5 million unique visitors per month and 15 million page views (TechCrunch proper is more than 3 million uniques and 10 million page views / month. Until the information was taken down by Federated Media this afternoon, the pageview total for the last 30 days posted there was 8.8 million. (We all know that stats can vary by service and that internal stats for most, of not all sites, usually are larger than those gleaned through public sources.)

According to data published by FM, sites producing more traffic for FM than TC include Boing Boing and MetaFilter

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