Quartz Wants to Sell Branded Charts to Advertisers

Atlas Is New Home For Quartz Graphics

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The Atlas homepage.
The Atlas homepage.

Quartz, the digital-only business-news site from Atlantic Media, introduced a companion site today called Atlas that's nothing but charts. There are charts on the 50 best places to work, the half-life of caffeine on the human body, Monsanto's annual revenue and much more.

"Charts have always played an integral role in our journalism; Quartz writers published nearly 4,000 charts last year," Zach Seward, Quartz's executive editor and VP of product, wrote in a blog post. "We also know that our readers love charts and love sharing them. Charts are our cat photos."

Quartz, which was introduced in 2012, generated between $10 and $12 million in revenue last year almost entirely from selling digital ads. The site is currently unprofitable as it invests in staff -- headcount more than doubled to 120 employees in the last year, a spokeswoman said -- as it seeks to grow both domestically and abroad. Earlier this month, it introduced a site dedicated to Africa.

Still, the site remains relatively small, attracting 4.7 million unique visitors across desktop and mobile in May in the U.S., a 109% increase over the previous year, according to ComScore. That doesn't account for Quartz's overseas readers, which comprise nearly half its total traffic, the company has said. Quartz says its fetches about 10 million monthly unique visitors globally, citing internal metrics.

Meanwhile, Business Insider hauled in 39.4 million U.S. unique visitors across desktop and mobile in May, according to ComScore. The Wall Street Journal notched 21.5 million and Fortune.com had 7.8 million.

To wring money from Atlas, Quartz is allowing companies to publish branded charts. From Mr. Seward's blog post:

The ads on Atlas are native, which is to say they are charts. Sponsor charts are clearly labeled as such and handled by our advertising team without any newsroom involvement. The first ones are rolling out today in some parts of the world.

Right now, the content on Atlas is from Quartz staff and contributors and a handful of brands, including UPS, General Electric and Samsung. But the site plans to allow anyone to upload a chart, it said.

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