Flush with new funding, Business Insider is planning to launch a new site devoted to consumer technology that will attempt to expand its audience beyond business readers, Digiday has learned.
Executives at BI declined to comment on the record, but sources close to the project confirmed the publisher’s plans for BI’s first new standalone site. The site isn’t expected to launch until the third quarter, and, as such, it doesn’t have a name or dedicated staff yet. BI expects to use a mix of internal staff and external hires.
There’s been an explosion of tech coverage lately, with older verticals like Wired and PC Magazine and general news organizations like The New York Times joined by new, digital natives like The Verge, Gizmodo and Engadget. A new entrant will have to muscle its way into a crowded category, but Business Insider seems to derive confidence from its audience growth at the mother ship and from its homegrown content-management system, which it calls Viking.
Founded in 2007 as Silicon Alley Insider, Business Insider has grown into a 35 million uniques-strong site under CEO and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget. The site has an ostensible focus on business, but like other publishers that start out with a vertical focus, BI has broadened its editorial mandate in the quest for scale, giving rise to gems like “Scientists measured 15,000 penises and determined the average size” and “You’ve been loading your dishwasher all wrong.”
But apparently, that mandate can only stretch so far. BI wants to give the new site an entirely new name and identity separate from Business Insider. That approach is meant to underscore that this is a consumer play, while BI will continue to define itself as focused on business executives. Still, BI certainly does consumer-oriented tech stories, under its mantra that business people have many interests, such as politics, sports and lifestyle issues. Right now, BI’s tech coverage includes “How to supercharge your iPhone in just five minutes” and “I made 2 tweaks to my sister’s 2009 iMac and now it runs like a brand new machine.”