Internet Brands Acquires Several Car Forums
Cars, cars, cars – I like ‘em, and it would seem that Internet Brands does, as well. The company, which already owned sites like Autos.com and CarsDirect, has now bought at least eight popular automotive forums.
Credit goes to alarm:clock for this discovery. “We do not know yet how much Internet Brands paid, however, the sites appear to be run by smaller companies,” the a:c article states. It then lists a handful of properties that have been sold: Corvetteforum, LS1Tech, PerformanceTrucks.net, ModMotorTech, Ford-trucks, Audiworld.com, Mustangforum.com, and ModernHemi.com.
Before today, I’d never visited any of those forums, but I’d heard of several – they are big, big players in the online auto field. “Corvette Forum claims over 110K registered members, FordTrucks claims 400K registered users and 1M+ uniques per month,” alarm:clock notes. A sampling of Corvette Forum activity: an acquisition-related post that was made at 9 AM today has already gotten 123 replies and over 2,000 views.
So when a:c writes, “The owner of one of the sites . . . argues that while discussion forums may seem like old tech he firmly believes that they are the most powerful of social networking sites,” I’m somewhat inclined to agree with that owner; I know I’d give up on MySpace long before turning my back on MatrixOwners.
A corporate perspective on all this is missing – Internet Brands has yet to issue an official press release on the matter – but you can get a sense of it by looking at letters from Troy Roberts and Jason Teller (big names on the Corvette and Audi sites, respectively). The letters are nearly identical, and they both state that there are no planned changes other than a move to faster servers.
If Internet Brands can sustain this hands-off approach, then this is a very positive development for all its new car forums. The “leading operator of media and e-commerce sites” won’t exactly suffer, either – these acquisitions should bring a lot of traffic its way.