GigaOM And paidContent Join Forces

Yes, it’s true: We are joining GigaOM. And the combined group will be a powerhouse, with more than 20 writers and editors, a strong presence on the East and West coasts and in Europe, and coverage of everything from media and big data, to the cloud and mobile, to book publishing and online video — not to mention the startup scene in various markets.

It’s a very exciting development for us, as ContentNext and GigaOM share so many of the same goals and have such similar cultures. We both believe fundamentally in the power of breaking news and smart, useful content across different platforms, and we both have a core conviction about practicing truth and fairness in our journalism. We also both happen to believe that you can build very profitable businesses if you can execute on those principles.

We have other things in common, too: Both companies’ founders — in our case, Rafat Ali, in GigaOM’s case, Om Malik — turned influential one-man blogs into vibrant media companies by being way ahead of the curve. (A side note: The two founders have also long been close friends.) The chance to work with Om is one that anyone would leap at. He is a true visionary with a unique understanding of technology and a gift for communicating that knowledge. He’s also stacked GigaOM with talented writers and editors who, like him, have a deep curiosity about the intersection of technology and business, particularly innovation. (You can read Om’s post on the sale.)

At a time when so many content companies are groping for sustainable business models, GigaOM has a dynamic approach to making money. Its multiple revenue streams extend from site advertising to conferences to subscription products and beyond; from its online audience of more than 4.5 million monthly unique visitors, to its leading events like GigaOM Structure and GigaOM Roadmap, to GigaOM Pro, which provides research on emerging technology markets from over 110 independent analysts. GigaOM has built a suite of products that can serve a variety audiences, all of which congregate under the GigaOM brand. And now that will expand to include our sites, newsletters and conferences.

For readers of ContentNext’s sites — paidContent, MocoNews, paidContent:UK and ContentSutra — there’s nothing not to like about this deal. You’ll still be able to attend our stellar conferences and enjoy our trenchant posts about the industries we cover. You’ll still be getting all the content you know from the writers that you’re used to getting it from. But now you’ll be getting something else, too: more smart voices on different and vital topics, and even more news and analysis.

Under the terms of the purchase, Guardian News & Media (GNM), which bought ContentNext Media in 2008, will take a minority stake in GigaOM. GNM joins existing GigaOM investors including Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) Ventures, Alloy Ventures and True Ventures. The sale is the culmination of a process that began back in the fall, with multiple bidders for ContentNext. The New York investment bank Coady Deimar Partners advised GNM on the deal.

“With our shared commitment to journalistic ethics, GigaOM and paidContent are a natural fit,” said Paul Walborsky, CEO of GigaOM. “paidContent is the leading voice covering the evolution of media, an area that is very important to us. Integrating our teams will enrich our editorial coverage and expand our footprint immediately in two markets that are critical to our growth – New York City and the UK.” GigaOM, which was founded in 2006, is based in San Francisco. ContentNext, whose roots go back to 2002, is based in New York.

The sale ends ContentNext’s three-and-a-half-year run as part of Guardian News and Media. When GNM had bought ContentNext, part of the idea was that it could help the UK publisher gain mindshare in the U.S. as the Guardian expanded there. In recent months, GNM has been focusing its investment activity in the U.S. around the buildout of a new site. “paidContent has a fantastic presence in the tech/media space, and the match with GigaOM, itself a really smart and pioneering company, is a good one. We are delighted to become shareholders in GigaOM as part of the deal,” said Andrew Miller, CEO of Guardian Media Group, the parent company of GNM. “The Guardian’s focus in the U.S. is on building, 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.”

We thank the Guardian for their stewardship, and can’t wait to start working with our new colleagues at GigaOM.

See GigaOM’sannouncement of the deal for additional details.