Yet another traditional media company has got money burning a hole in their pocket and bought an online web property. Discovery Communications, owner of the similarly titled television channel, has bought out the online knowledge depository site HowStuffWorks for an estimated 250 million dollars.
The website set up nearly a decade ago by Professor Marshall Brain of North Carolina State University fits well with other educational properties owned by the group.
Although many of their Television channels have comprehensive web presences the acquisition of the pure play online offering is quite a departure.
David Zaslav, CEO of the Discovery Communications group illustrated the strategic importance of the purchase “One of my early challenges at Discovery was determining how best to build a robust digital media portfolio. With HowStuffWorks, Discovery now has a solid platform for strengthening our digital businesses, leveraging our video assets to
create new experiences for users, advertisers and our distribution partners, and taking those opportunities around the globe.”
While Discovery will be pleased to add the site to their portfolio, with traffic of 11 million monthly unique global visitors, it offers an experience more like Mahalo than Wikipedia. They have a editorial staff and have relied on purchasing the rights to traditional media with a digital rights catalogue to over 30,000 books, though given a an audience of that scale they have plenty of opportunity to build a community.