New Matilda Folds After Six Years Of No Profit

Australian independent media site New Matilda has announced that it will close June 25, after six years of operating without ever once making a profit.

Founded in 2004, New Matilda pitched itself as a fiercely independent Australian provider of news, analysis and satire. Prior to being acquired in 2007 for $10, New Matilda ran a subscription model which didn’t pay the bills. A switch to advertising supported content saw an increase in page views, but a continuing inability to cover costs.

Editor Marina Cordell blames a lack of advertising for the demise of the site, writing

“The advertising simply hasn’t followed. Moreover, as the site has increased in popularity, so have our running costs — and with them the knowledge that we are unable to subsidize the project indefinitely.”

It’s always sad to see an online publication like New Matilda fold, and the site did provide an interesting read at times. However blaming a lack of advertising and increased running costs is more than a little rich when New Matilda is claimed by others to have paid writers between AU$100-$200 per post.

New Matilda isn’t a charity (or Government funded broadcaster;) it’s all very well creating a site for a noble cause, but running it at a loss for six years then claiming, as Codell does, that “since we already run a very lean operation, cutting costs is not an option” is complete and utter bollocks. The reality is you live within your means, and in New Matilda’s case it would appear to have been paying far too much for content. If you’re paying $100-$200 per post, and you’re getting far less back in revenue per post, you either pay less for the content, or you change the content, so you cover costs.

The running cost (by which we presume hosting costs) claim doesn’t stack up: The Inquisitr would easily do 10x more traffic than New Matilda (if not more), and our hosting costs are US$400-$500 a month through a world class hosting company (Rackspace.) That’s what New Matilda is alleged to be paying for 3-5 posts; if they were paying significantly more for hosting, the lean operation claim fails completely.

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