Dotdash: Revenue Doubles To $170 Million In 2019

By Amit Chowdhry ● January 14, 2020
  • Dotdash, the company formerly known as About.com, doubled its revenue to $170 million in 2019 according to a Fast Company profile article

Recently, Fast Company did a profile of DotDash where it was revealed that DotDash is expected to have doubled its revenue to $170 million and EBITDA of $40 million in 2019. And Dotdash’s annual revenue grew by 44% in 2018 and 34% as reported in Q3 2019 earnings. The company’s revenue is largely driven by advertising and e-commerce.

What is Dotdash? Dotdash is a content company that reaches around 90 million U.S. users per month. And it runs about a dozen lifestyle-focused brands like Lifewire.com, Verywell.com, TripSavvy.com, The Balance, and Investopedia. Dotdash’s sites saw an increase in traffic by 44% year over year in Q3 2019.

Dotdash also acquired Byrdie and MyDomaine from Clique Media in January. And then Dotdash acquired Brides from Condé Nast in May 2019. Then it acquired Liquor.com in October from founder Kit Codik.

Dotdash launched four years ago after its owners decided to relaunch About.com. Scott Kurnit originally founded About.com in 1996. Four years later Primedia bought About.com for $690 million. And then Primedia sold About.com to The New York Times in 2005 for $410 million. Then The New York Times sold About.com to IAC in 2012 for $300 million.

IAC CEO Joey Levin oversaw the acquisition of About.com and then assigned Neil Vogel to revamp the brand. Vogel started his career as an investment banker and then later started a company called Recognition Media.

The first order of business was for Vogel to optimize About.com’s deep archive of meticulously crafted articles on a wide range of subjects. And Vogel recruited two former colleagues, including About.com chief financial officer Tim Quinn and chief operating officer Alex Ellerson.

The team Vogel assembled had revamped About.com’s technology, repurposed the content on different sites, and restructured the teams. Initially, About.com failed to take off again. But Vogel asked Levin for $35 million and 6 months to make drastic changes to Dotdash.

Now there are more than 1,000 remote part-time contributors for Dotdash that help identify story ideas for audiences and tap into tools created by Ellerson’s team. As a result, the traffic to the sites increased from 45 million visitors per month to 90 million in August of last year.

And Dotdash spent around $100 million on content since it started the turnaround, including the $35 million Vogel requested earlier.

“We are taking a Netflix approach to content creation,” said Vogel in an interview with Fast Company. “We are spending more money on service-based articles than any other media company.”