Online gossip site Dotspotter has been acquired by CBS for $10 million. In Digg style Dotspotter lets users offer up celebrity news, video clips, images, articles and sightings for your leisurely enjoyment. You can vote up the ones you like and vote down the ones you hate.
After acquiring Last.fm for $280M CBS president Leslie Moonves laid out an online marketing strategy, which most likely includes the current acquisition. As Valleywag pointed out Dotspotter’s short one-year lifespan didn’t scare off serial charmer Quincy Smith, the startup-mad head of CBS Interactive. Earlier CBS has also bought the financial video blog Wallstrip. Sources also claim that one of Dotspotter’s beneficiaries is Facebook CFO Gideon Yu.
According to Quantcast the site is getting less than 600,000 American unique visitors per month. Compete is reporting for pretty much the same number of visitors. At the time the deal was announced (Oct 2006) the site had only 280,000 users a month according to Compete. This compared to the 3.6 million for TMZ and 1.5 million for PerezHilton, perhaps the most popular entertainment blog.
The company is founded by Anthony Soohoo, who is a former Yahoo exec. It would appear that Anthony Soohoo made the right choice by leaving Yahoo back in March 2006.
The price seems pretty high for a sector which is crowded with more high profile celebrity blogs/sites like TMZ.com, PerezHilton, and others as well as the fact that the site has only been launched mid-January last year. Online sources close to the situation tell the price is not for the site itself, but the team that has built it. Structured this way the deal may also include a heavy earn-out component.
CBS has launched celebrity news before like the site Showbuzz in June 2006, but things did not go any further. CBS also produces two celebrity tabloid shows The Insider and ET.
At the end of the day it appears as a nice exit for the investors since the site is said to have only raised seed money from angels and the amount is rumored to be less than $1M. Gideon Yu is one of the investors, along with couple of other angels.
More about Dotspotter
Dotspotter is a new way to explore and enjoy pop culture. We’re the community that lets users discover, share and talk about the people, places and ideas that are defining what’s hot and happening. People use Dotspotter to find the latest scoops, gab with their friends, share celebrity sightings and cast their votes on the pop culture topics that they care about.
People join for many different reasons. Whether you want to try your skills at breaking celebrity gossip (you know, bring out your inner paparazzi!) or you just want to have fun socializing with others, Dotspotter members can do it all. And the best part is that joining Dotspotter is absolutely FREE. All that’s needed to join Dotspotter is a valid email address. Once you register, join the topics that interest you and connect with people like you who have a passion for all things pop culture!
Dotspotter is made up of many different and interesting people with a common interest centered on pop culture entertainment. Join in the discussions, participate in the community and make new friends.
About CBS Interactive
As the online extension of America’s most-watched network, CBS Interactive enhances the viewer experience with best-of-breed content from some of the biggest brands in television across multiple platforms.
CBS has partnered with a collection of leading next-generation companies to create the CBS Audience Network, the web’s first and largest professional video content network, delivering reach and targeting capabilities to our advertisers. The result… the best lineup of full-length and short-form clips from CBS, CSTV and Showtime are now available to over 140 million uniques per month reaching 89% of the Web. Some of the online brands include: CBSSports.com, NCAASports.com, CBSNews.com, TheShowbuzz.com, Wallstrip, CBS.com, STARTREK.COM, Last.fm, CBS Audience Network, CBS Games and CBS Mobile.
Oddly but Dotspotter does not appear as a stand alone online destination/brand.