“Who says aggregation doesn’t pay?” asks MinnPost’s David Brauer just before telling us about the $1 million investment that BringMeTheNews just scored from Dolan Media and Padilla Speer Beardsley. Rick Kupchella’s less-than-a-year-old Minneapolis-based startup plans to use the money to expand into sports and other states.
Here are some “quick thoughts” on the matter from Brauer:
1. Jim Dolan (who, like PSB’s Lynn Casey, will join Bring’s board) is becoming quite the web noodler. Among his nation-wide newspaper and legal-services holdings, he owns¬†Politics in Minnesota, which will debut a fairly high paywall Aug. 16. Politics in Minnesota has been staffing up, and it looks like Bring will, too. Dolan says he¬†doesn’t plan on integrating Bring offerings into his existing properties, for now, anyway.
2. The p.r. investment reflects Bring’s link mix. The site, managed by local journalist Tom Elko, has been unabashed about nuking banner ads; the alternative is “sponsored content” mixed into Bring’s piles of story links. Bring execs contend this labeled content is less obnoxious than common web come-ons and actually has some information value for readers.
3. I wonder how much of this is a traditional media play. The shiny web stuff gets insiders’ attention, but perhaps Bring should be thought of more as a radio news service with an online component. As stations have downsized in a tough economy, many have whacked even the vestigial news staffs they had. For personality-driven music and talk stations, why not outsource news to a cheaper specialist, especially if the payment is ad inventory that isn’t necessarily sold out anyway?
4. While there are a ton of sports aggregators, most don’t have a traditional-media toehold, though you’re seeing more pairings with newspapers. We all know how sports drives web traffic, so it’s a sensible experiment for Bring.