Content Market Heats Up As Forbes Acquires True/Slant

The market for content based websites continues to heat up with news today that Forbes has acquired new media startup True/Slant.

Launched in April 2009 by former AOL News head Lewis Dvorkin, True/Slant combines the effort of over 300 freelance writers in 18 categories, offering a pitch of “quality” analysis and discussion on the news of the day.

As part of the acquisition, Dvorkin will step into the role of Forbes’ Chief Product Officer from June 1.

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed, but is speculated to be single figure millions. The site had previously raised $3 million in a round that included Forbes and Fuse Capital.

Traffic according to True/Slant comes in at 1.5 million uniques, although page views weren’t disclosed. Public figures include an Alexa rank of 9,989 and Compete of 2,446. Quantcast direct measure puts page views at 2.6 million; we’d guess the real figure would be around the 3.5 million mark.

The interesting aspect of the True/Slant business model is one of syndication: the site doesn’t do a lot of advertising and instead seeks to resell/ syndicate its content on other sites and in traditional media. It makes it hard to guess what sort of money they are making, and to put an accurate figure on an acquisition price, but based on the public stats, we’d think single figure millions is probably about right.

The True/Slant acquisition follows the acquisition of content provider Associated Content last week by Yahoo, and shows that after a lull during the global financial crisis, interest in acquiring new media content plays has returned. That’s naturally a good thing for anyone operating in the market.

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