Photo: Everyday Health
All is not lost for content-producing web companies.Everyday Health, a cluster of websites and other health-oriented online services, marked a banner year with revenue growing 32 per cent year-over-year in 2011.
We’ve heard that Everyday Health now brings in between $160 million and $175 million annually, though the company wouldn’t confirm that. Not only that, but the company is now cash-flow positive.
And they do it by producing content for websites — like lifestyle guides and running sites for patients to connect with each other.
We got in touch with Ben Wolin, co-founder of the 10-year old company. Here’s what we learned:
- Everyday Health has more than 30 million unique monthly visitors. That’s across all the company’s properties, which doesn’t even include a television show.
- It’s now eyeing an initial public offering and thinks $1 billion in annual revenue is in reach. The company raised $20 million around the fourth quarter in 2010 and postponed its IPO at the time.
- Everyday Health is a huge collection of digital properties related to health, which is actually a sustainable business. While competitors like WebMD didn’t see that much growth last year, Everyday Health took off, Wolin said.
Here’s a full transcript of the interview:
BUSINESS INSIDER: So what’s the occasion? Why are you guys talking about this now?
BEN WOLIN: We were doing a year in review, a recap. There’s a lot of noise in the marketplace around the health category and WebMD — and not all the news is negative. We had a great 2011, where we grew 32 per cent year-over-year in our ad business and a passed lot of great milestones.
We’ve had for 20 consecutive quarters consistent revenue growth and now have more than 500 customers. But what is really coming to a head is our platform is really expanded. We’ve now reached 30 million U.S. consumers in a month. We’ve had 7.5 million mobile installs in the past 18 months. We have a show on television, we have a big partnership with YouTube which launches in a month. The list goes on and on, as our assets have gotten bigger or stronger.
I think there’s two ways of looking at that. Our nearest competitor, WebMD, didn’t grow and we did and grew significantly. So there’s the juxtaposition to them. We’re doing it at scale and the online media business, over the last year everyone’s talking bout Facebook’s growth and Groupon’s growth and you haven’t heard a lot about content companies growing. I think the focus of the spotlight has been on social and deals and here’s a content company that is bucking conventional wisdom.
BI: Tell me about Everyday health – what kind of areas do your websites cover?
BW: We have as much lifestyle, diet and fitness, even beauty within our portfolio. That is a core component of our business. What attracted me to the space was that online and digital could do something that there was no analogous offline situation. There was no way for a patient to connect with another patient easily, there was no way to get niche information.
On the lifestyle side there was all the fun stuff around calorie-counters and pregnancy trackers and over time that has just gotten more interesting. There are devices now that via Bluetooth give out data — GPS trackers that track your runs, all of that is within our scope of work. At the end of the day, while doing celebrity content might be fun, it’s rare.
BI: I understand you guys raised a lot of money not too long ago to put off the IPO. Where does that stand now?
BW: Total, we’ve raised less than $75 million dollars. We raised $20 million in December 2010.
We’re definitely eyeing an IPO. When we shelved our IPO or pulled back in November 2010, we raised that money but always knew we wanted to go public. We purchased a company that put us in the professional space — professional in our market means reaching doctors. We bought a news service for doctors and have integrated that business now.
We run 25 different digital properties. I use the word digital, instead of websites, because now it’s not just a dot-com: it’s a Twitter handle and Facebook presence. That is a goal of ours, to have our brands where any consumer is making a health decision, that’s where we need to be.
BI: You’ve been with Everyday Health for 10 years — ever feel the itch to go entrepreneurial again?
BW: Hopefully there’s never an end, hopefully it keeps going. We want to grow a company that does $1 billion in revenue, that just takes a long time. I’m as excited today as I was 10 years.
We started our business in a kitchen in Brooklyn — there are no garages in New York City. At least, when you’re 26 years old you can’t afford one. It’s been great, the company is 500 people now.
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