Publishers are in peril from annoying ads

business insiderThere is nothing so inspiring as a person triumphing over disaster — the narrative of many books and films. So the sight of Henry Blodget, the former Wall Street analyst who was disgraced in the 1990s dotcom bubble, selling Business Insider, the news site he founded in 2007, at a valuation of $390m is heartwarming.The deal shows not only Mr Blodget’s endurance and ingenuity but also the size of the challenge. Axel Springer, the German publisher, is buying a website with 76m monthly users and projected revenues this year of $43m — which amounts to 57 cents per user per year, or 5 cents a month; a modest haul. There are no profits, although they are anticipated in 2018.

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