Analyst Doug McIntyre at 24/7 Wall St doesn’t have specific thoughts on the valuation, but he makes a persuasive case about why TechCrunch and other big blogs will eventually be bought for big numbers by big media.
TechCrunch, McIntrye points out, has a reader base that is one third the size of CNET’s, (which is valued at $1.2 billion). CNET’s growth has stagnated, while TechCrunch is growing like a weed. And so are SeekingAlpha, GigaOm, Huffington Post and other new media companies. These companies have filled a niche that appeared when traditional media began cracking apart–and they’ve taken full advantage of it.
Big media–newspapers especially–have responded, and their already overworked reporters are now blogging like crazy. This will soon make it tougher (but not impossible) for start-up blog networks to gain traction, but it shouldn’t have much impact on the leaders. Ultimately, the smart move for cash rich traditional media companies will be to buy rather than build. And that’s when TechCrunch, et al, will cash in.