This post by FOLIO: editor Dylan Stableford on Glam Media and its CEO Samir Arora makes two insights into e-media M&A:
"If traditional publishers continue to miss the site network strategy, as Arora says, I’d expect that line of ‘approachers’ to start looking like the runway at JFK, probably sooner than later. And when it does, it’ll be a fun exercise in valuation."
Arora says he’s already getting a significant amount of interest from tire-kickers and the supposition that the crowd of curious buyers will soon resemble a packed runway is dead on. Media bankers DeSilva + Phillips have already labeled 2007 as the "year of the digital niche acquisition," and this year is shaping up to be more of the same.
What’s more, Arora is actually generating revenues. "Our internal goal has been to drive the revenue growth rate faster than any other media company on the Internet–traditional or nontraditional," Arora told me in our original interview.
Whether or not Glam’s revenues are developing at a scale or speed buyers are looking for, that model is something both potential strategic and financial buyers will no doubt appreciate, given the smokey back room approach to early-stage e-media valuations.
With the credit markets as tight as they are these days, buyers may not be as willing to pay whatever it takes to win a bid. And in a deal for a property that has proven financials, a bidder pool would likely expand to include even the more conservative buyers who normally shy away from early-stage Internet companies that have no measurables to pin a valuation on beyond site traffic, demographics, an executive team still in their 20s, and a great idea.