Federated Media Acquires FoodBuzz

John Battelle's Publishing Aggregator Goes Foodie

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Advertising and publishing company Federated Media has acquired food-blog network FoodBuzz, according to people familiar with the matter.

At a time when advertisers are looking to dice the online audience ever finer, networks like Federated are having to build out their stables of offerings, and FoodBuzz will add to the increasingly popular food category. Federated already sells advertising for a number of food sites, including the well-known blog Serious Eats.

But with the FoodBuzz purchase, Federated will be better positioned to sell the so-called head of household category to advertisers, which refers to the person who buys the bulk of consumer packaged goods like cleaners and food products -- the domain of big ad spenders like Unilever and P&G.

FoodBuzz reached 4.8 million people in October, according to comScore, which represents over 13% of Federated's audience of 36.8 million, making this a significant audience acquisition for Federated. A few weeks ago, the San Francisco-based company bought BigTent, a community-building platform centered around parents for an undisclosed sum.

Headed by Wired founding editor John Battelle, Federated is one of the largest sales brokers for blogs and websites, selling advertising for publishers such as GigaOm and The Awl, as well as TechCrunch (prior to its acquisition by AOL). The company appears to be responding to the fact that banner advertising rates have remained relatively flat, largely due to the commoditization of page views and audiences through the proliferation of online ad networks.

Managing more content properties allows Federated to potentially garner more sponsorship sales with higher ad rates. Federated is currently capitalized at $57 million for a purported valuation of $200 million.

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