Industry Dive, a Washington, D.C.-based business journalism outlet, is acquiring PharmaVOICE, a trade publication for pharmaceutical industry executives, its CEO and co-founder Sean Griffey tells Axios. The deal marks Industry Dive’s fourth acquisition in the last year and a half.
Why it matters: The company, which is expected to finish 2021 with more than $80 million in revenue, is pursuing a similar strategy to several other media companies that are trying to remain independent: acquire small brands to get bigger incrementally.
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Details: PharmaVOICE is a hyper-niche publication read by roughly 60,000 pharmaceutical executives. The company, which also produces events and podcasts, will remain a standalone brand under Industry Dive.
This is IndustryDive’s fourth deal. In June 2020 it acquired a content marketing studio from NewsCred, a global technology company, which it combined with its own content studio and relaunched as studioID.
Last year, the company bought CFO.com, which it kept as a standalone brand. In January, it bought Mobile Payments Today, which was rebranded Payments Dive.
“We’ve built a platform that allows us to acquire publications to enter new markets or build audiences in our existing ones,” Griffey told Axios.
“We are able to apply our editorial approach, technology backend, established sales team, and operations infrastructure to help these brands quickly grow.”
By the numbers: Industry Dive, which launched in 2012, currently employs more than 300 people, about a third of which are journalists. It expects profit margins to approach 30% this year, a feat considering that many media companies struggle to remain profitable while growing.
The company has newsletter products that span 23 industries, including Retail Dive, Utility Dive, Food Dive, Supply Chain Dive and more.
The big picture: Griffey believes that as the creator economy intensifies, more established journalists will strike out on their own for a few years to build a brand that they can then sell back to an established media company for profit.
“I think for a platform like ours, we have built out the infrastructure to take these brands and publications and provide them with a sales model,” Griffey said. “We take their expertise and audience and give them a good experience.”
Background: Industry Dive was launched on the belief that the real value in business media is in niche, highly targeted audiences. Most of Industry Dive’s products are newsletter-driven, with events and other products built around those niche emails.
“Basically, the true secret to scale for a media business is to do something *valuable* multiple times,” Griffey says.
“There was a point where the mainstream media industry believed scale was taking marginally valuable audiences and trying to make them bigger. We’ve done the opposite,” he said.
What’s next: Griffey says he expects another acquisition to close in early October and several more to close in the coming months.
Moving forward, Griffey says the company will not only launch into dozens of new markets, but it also plans to add capabilities that can be applied across each new vertical, including subscription products, peer-to-peer communities, events, research and more.
Go deeper: Industry Dive’s first big acquisition
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