Connect with us


Minute Media acquires Mental Floss



Mental Floss
Floss specializes in educational content for

Mental Floss’

  • Minute Media wants to acquire a number of
    vertical-oriented media brands, starting with Mental
  • About 65% of Mental Floss’ traffic comes from search,
    according to SimilarWeb.
  • Minute Media claims to reach 100 million monthly unique
    users through three sports sites.

Mental Floss has a new owner. The millennial-focused site founded
by William E. Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudar as a campus magazine
at Duke University in 2001 is now part of Minute Media, a
seven-year old publishing company that focuses on sports.

Minute Media operates both a publishing and technology business,
and is backed by $77 million in funding, $17 million of
which it secured in May. Routman declined to name the cost of
acquring Mental Floss.

According to comScore, Mental Floss had roughly 8 million monthly
unique visitors in August, up from seven million a year
previously. Minute Media is buying the site from British magazine
Felix Dennis’ estate.
 Dennis Publishing
acquired the title in 2011
. The process of buying the title
took about 90 days, said Minute Media president Rich Routman.

Minute Media is branching outside of sports

The company publishes three sports-oriented sites that
collectively reach 100 million monthly unique visitors: 90min
focuses on international soccer, DBTap covers esports and 12Up
focuses on the US sports market.

“Obviously we have a little bit of wind on our back in light of
the fact that it was a World Cup year that provides some positive
momentum in the world of soccer,” he said. “We felt that it was
time to expand outside of sports and after doing a lot of testing
over the past six months to see how compatible our tech and
products were in facets other than sports we decided to enter the
space — we think we found with Mental Floss another great leader
in a vertical market with a differentiated audience that still
caters to younger millennials.”

In addition to Mental Floss’ niche focus on knowledge about
millennials, Minute Media was impressed with the site’s website
traffic and evergreen content — think lists with headlines like

11 things you should know about Rosh Hashanah
or quizzes —
that continually perform well within SEO.

Mental Floss has strong SEO chops

According to SimilarWeb, Mental Floss had 16.4 million monthly
uniques in August with 65.5% of traffic coming from search.
Social and direct traffic together made up
another 29.6% of traffic.

“Mental Floss is not overly reliant on social channels — they do
a great job in terms of organic traffic and great search
density,” Routman said. “The businesses that have to invest media
dollars to grow audience we don’t believe are sustainable.”

image002 (1)
Minute Media president
Rich Routman.


Minute Media employs about 200 employees with 75 to 80 people
working in editorial, 70 in tech and product and the rest of
employees split between commerical, finance and human resources.
Mental Floss will bring over all of its editorial staff led by
editor in chief Erin McCarthy. While Minute Media does not plan
to cut editorial staffers “there are other areas in tech,
commercialization and marketing where we can apply central
resources,” Routman said.

Minute Media is also interested in other acquisitions, he said.

“Hopefully it serves as the first of several deals that we can
bring into the family,” he said. “As we look into other
verticals, M&A is at the forefront of our strategy and we’re
already working on several other deals alongside Mental Floss —
we think it’s the right time to be a buyer and not a seller.”

Minute Media is pushing in to licensing

Advertising makes up 70% of Minute Media’s revenue while the
other 30% comes from licensing, according to Routman. The
publisher licenses its CMS software to publishers like Turner’s
Brazilian TV network Esporte Interativo
and HT Media in India.

Venturing into software as a revenue source is nothing new for
Vox Media,
The Washington Post and
New York Media
all make money from licensing their CMS to
other publishers.

“If you’re reliant 100% on advertising, it’s more of a volatile
market these days,” Routman said.

Minute Media’s CMS is specifically designed for freelancers and
“content creators that are external to the newsroom.” It also
“integrates all sorts of third-party media templates so that you
can have a variety of formats in your content creation process.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job