Based on a recent announcement, Zealot Networks has purchased viral content website ViralNova. Although the financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, rumors have it that Zealot paid $100 million for the ownership of ViralNova.
Zealot Networks, the digital media company founded by Danny Zappin in 2014, has long weighed the possibility of acquiring ViralNova, the website promoting ‘click bait’ images and videos with the potential of becoming viral content.
Based on the official declarations, the agreement between the two companies was signed because Zealot Networks was interested in a website that was specialized in volatile business. Since ViralNova has relied mostly on Facebook’s News Feed to build traffic on the website, they were labeled as the perfect candidate for Zappin’s business plans.
Past reports indicate that the viral content website has had both up and down periods. The perfect example in this case is the traffic percentage registered in January and May, 2015. In January, the website had 37 million unique users, whereas in May the traffic dropped to 17.6 million unique users.
Even so, Zealot was interested in acquiring the site as it believes it can contribute to the targeting of their online audience through the channels they are using. Thus, Zealot Networks has high expectations for ViralNova’s ability to position their digital marketing business on the market. In addition, the company aims to promote young and revolutionary artists with the help of the curation site.
Market analysts take small confidence in the recent business deal that Zealot Networks has concluded. Their skepticism is primarily based on the little interest that the Internet is currently paying to this type of websites.
According to Jay MacDonald, CEO and co-founder of Digital Capital Advisors, there are far too many viral-style publishers on the Internet at present. As a consequence, he does not believe that ViralNova will manage to achieve the objectives that Zealot has set for the following period.
On the other hand, Facebook’s new rules could also prevent curation sites from promoting ‘click bait’ material through their News Feed. The social network has recently introduced its “Instant Articles” option giving large media companies like New York Times and National Geographic the possibility to be the first to share content on their News Feed page.
This new setting focuses on direct publication of articles, rather than links that draw traffic on websites, so viral-style publishers like ViralNova might be hindered by Facebook’s new sharing tool, analysts have concluded.
Image source: www.tubefilter.com