In the publishing world, it's no secret that Business Insider has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Today, co-founder, CEO and Editor-In Chief Henry Blodget announced that the site had 15 million unique monthly visitors in May, and he largely attributes the site's popularity to news aggregation.
On Friday, we looked at Compete's latest numbers for some of the web's popular business and tech publications. As previously noted, Compete's numbers are often lower than publishers' internal analytics, and it had Business Insider at 2,681,606 uniques for the month of May (U.S. Only), compared to 2,239,178 for WebProNews. The 15 million Blodget announced today are presumably global. For perspective, in light of Compete's data, WebProNews (based on our internal stats) was at 5.2 million for the month.
It's interesting to see what Blodget has to say about aggregation. In his post, he writes, "We occasionally hear other media organizations speak ill of aggregation, as though it's some sort of a bad thing. This has always been mystifying to us. We assume this attitude arose from an era in which big media organizations were like hydrants in the desert--the only place to find news and information."
"In the past, publications like ours would have had to hire PR firms to send their articles around and beg other journalists to write about them. Now, thanks to the Internet, you all not only choose to read our posts with no prodding from us, you write about them, link to us, raise awareness of our brand and writers, and make it easy for more readers to find us. And we're grateful for every mention and link!"
He's right. You don't hear that too often from traditional media publications, some of which have historically been quite defensive about news aggregation.
It was only a year ago we were reporting that Business insider had surpassed popular social media news site Mashable in Uniques (based on Compete data from that time). As you can see from the Compete list, Business Insider is in the upper tier of business sites, in terms of unique audience. It will be interesting to see if it jumps up further, on a list dominated by sites like CNET, Forbes.com, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Businessweek.