The 24/7 Wall Street blog has a list of what they consider to be the 25 most valuable blogs. The list contains indpendent blogs and blog companies and excludes major media company properties as well as blogs that are meant to promote other businesses. Since all of these are private companies and do not publish financial data, they've based their valuations on publically available traffic metrics.
Gawker Media is #1 on the list and valued at $150 million. I was a bit surprised by #2. It is MacRumors, which is valued at $85 million. Number 25 is Travelpod, which is a travel scheduling and planning site. They do not put a value on Travelpod, but it comes right after a site valued at $860,000This list illustrates the continuing growth of small online publishing companies and the ongoing fragmentation of the media industry.
So does the increasing role search is playing in the consumption of online news and information. Publishing 2.0 has a really interesting post on how search has transformed online news consumption. The point of this post is that consumers are increasingly using search to discover news and information. This allows small news and information providers to develop an audience. This site, for example, gets most of its non-RSS traffic and new RSS subscribers from the search engines.
Interestingly enough, a number of large media companies like Reuters and The New York Times are even using paid search links to attract readers to their stories. I think this advertising arbitrage play shows just how effectively small publishers are competing with large media company.
While large media companies are not going to disappear, the media industry is going to continue to fragment. This will continue to create new opportunities for niche publishing companies.