News and Media, the news media division of the UK based Guardian Media Group and the publisher of The Guardian newspaper, has acquired ContentNext Media. ContentNext Media is the US based host of sites such as ContentSutra.com (India), Paidcontent.org (the US) and PaidContent.co.uk (the UK and Europe). These sites carry digital media content news and blogs in several countries. It also publishes a mobile content news blog called MocoNews.net.
Rafat Ali, founder and editor, ContentNext Media, says, "Guardian Media approached us at a time when we were not talking to any company about selling ContentNext Media. Instead, we were looking for a second round of venture funding. This is a perfect deal as we will continue to exist as an independent business entity. The ContentNext Media board will have four members, including two members from the Guardian Media Group."
As part of the deal, ContentNext Media will use the resources of Guardian Media. It will get an office in the UK and cash in on the worldwide reporting capabilities of the company.
Ali says, "Guardian Media has plans to expand its operations in India. We will look for partnerships with business news media companies in India." Ali points out that the partnership will be for content syndication from ContentSutra.com. ContentNext Media has content syndication deals with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters.com and Forbes in the US.
ContentNext will also hire more people and carry out more events in India. It plans to do more original news stories along with news aggregation.
ContentNext Media earns revenue through B2B online classified advertising, events and selling research reports. Ali indicates that though its Indian site, ContentSutra.com, has still not started earning revenue, there are plans to hire a business development team to establish its business infrastructure in India. "We have intense plans for the second half of 2008. We will add more revenue streams, more verticals as dedicated sites, or a section such as gaming," says Ali.
Guardian News and Media publishes newspapers such as The Guardian and The Observer in the UK and runs a website, Guardian.co.uk. ContentNext Media will be a part of the Guardian Professional Group. Guardian Professional is the B2B media division of Guardian News and Media and runs a site called MediaGuardian.co.uk. It manages the online data businesses of the group and organises conferences.