If your brand isn't on the Web, WebMediaBrands wants to help. The company provides digital content, education, job listings, events, and other resources for media, creative, and design professionals. Its flagship Mediabistro network of websites targets the media industry, including digital and print publishing, advertising, television, and public relations markets. Its AllCreativeWorld reaches creative and design professionals through websites such as Graphics.com and Creativebits. WebMediaBrands also offers community, membership, and e-commerce offerings such as a freelance listing service and a marketplace for designing and purchasing logos. Chairman and CEO Alan Meckler owns about 40% of WebMediaBrands.
The company generates revenues from activities such as advertising, fees charged for online job postings, attendee registration fees for courses and events, and subscription sales of online memberships. Its job board accounts for 40% of revenues. Though it continued its pattern of failing to earn a profit, in 2010 WebMediaBrands was able to narrow its losses and increase its revenues. The company was aided by a recovering economy that caused an increase in online job postings, advertising revenues, and trade show revenues. It ran 16 trade shows in 2010 compared to nine in 2009.
WebMediaBrands has been working to boost business by steadily increase its portfolio of creative offerings through targeted purchases. The acquisitive company bought journalism blog 10000Words.net in 2010. That deal followed its acquisition of a blog and conference business -- SemanticUniverse.com and the Semantic Technology Conference (SemTech). Previously in 2010 it added to its stable of community-focused content with the purchase of social media blog Rotorblog.com. The string of acquisitions that year began with its early 2010 purchase of 3rd Power LLC, which produces three social media tradeshows (Social Gaming Summit, Virtual Goods Summit, and iGames Summit).
These growth efforts come after the company switched focus and downsized considerably with the sale of its Internet.com division, which targeted developers and IT and business professionals. WebMediaBrands sold Internet.com to online direct marketing company QuinStreet for some $18 million in 2009. It made the sale in order to improve its balance sheet and expand its Mediabistro.com and Graphics.com operations. The deal completed the company's transformation from a focus on IT professionals to one on creative professionals. The transformation began with WebMediaBrands' significant acquisition of Mediabistro.com for about $20 million, using the purchase to enter career and training markets.
WebMediaBrands (then named Jupitermedia) had previously entered talks to be acquired by Getty Images, but the discussions were terminated; Jupitermedia rebuffed Getty's proposed offer of about $342 million as too low. Getty instead opted to buy its Jupiterimages division -- which represented the bulk of Jupitermedia's operations -- in 2009 for some $96 million. (At the time online images had accounted for some 75% of the company's business). The company subsequently changed its name from Jupitermedia to WebMediaBrands.
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