'Waking up' might be a bit of understatement, but there seems to be a steady stream of news from Sweden about mainstream media acquiring blogs to reach attractive niche audiences and advertisers.
A week back, news broke that magazine publisher Egmont was acquiring the male fashion blog Manolo.se, expecting to benefit both from the traffic the blog's roughly 20,000 unique visitors (UV)would bring and the attractive advertising niche it represents. Manolo AB, which is the creation of the guys behind Good Old Trend, recorded about £60K in revenues from September 2005 to December 2006.
Meanwhile, Dagens Media reports that Stureplan.se has lost about 20 per cent of its traffic since blogger Katrin Schulman took her blog to its competitior, Sthlmsfinest.com, while the latter has gained some 35,000 – 45,000 new readers since Katrin started blogging for them. Impressive, but still some way to go to the 120, 000 UV she promised.
Part of a bigger trend?
Update 16/5: However, Swedish mainstream media acquiring blogs is nothing new: those who've followed my blog for a while will know that Swedish TV4 acquired Politikerbloggen.se for about £75,000 June 2007, a price the UK's Guido Fawkes ridiculed as much below what he'd even consider in the comment field.
Admittedly, Politikerbloggen was thought up by a journalist, but there's an interesting trend taking shape here, also in the way Swedish sites like Stureplan.se and Sthlmsfinest.com seem to have crafted their business models on enlisting bloggers to attract certain niche audiences with strong appeal to attractive advertisers.
"When it comes to our webshop we see that the bloggers have a very big effect. We see that products the bloggers write about sell out extremely quick," Sara Carlsson, head of information at Lindex, told Dagens Media.
Of course, this type of scenario brings to mind that old debate about product placement etc, but that's a debate for another time...