Perfect Market, a startup that helps publishers monetize their online content, announced Tuesday that it has raised $9 million in Series D financing led by Comcast Interactive Capital, with participation from existing investors Idealab, Rustic Canyon Partners, Tribune Company and Trinity Ventures.
The company has raised $28 million since its founding in 2007, with the last round being a $6 million Series C in March 2010. That round was led by the Tribune Company, the umbrella corporation for various media organizations, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.
In fact, the Los Angeles Times was Perfect Market’s first client and, according to CEO Julie Schoenfeld, “results were tremendous.” The company’s website claims that the program has generated a 20x-30x increase in revenue for clients, from when they first started employing Perfect Market.
The company helps publishers by figuring out first how to package what they should be writing and, secondly, how to distribute and monetize that content. Distribution channels should encompass much more than just the main newspaper and home site, the company believes, and each piece of individual content must be treated as an asset that could become relevant and, therefore monetization-worthy, sometime in the future.
Essentially, Schoenfeld says, Perfect Market “provides the technology wrapper that goes around content.”
Because many traditional publishers have had to reduce expenses dramatically, IT staff often sees trimming before other areas. Perfect Market fills the void by managing a media company’s online presence and infrastructure, with an emphasis on monetization.
Despite all this, Schoenfeld tells me that revenue of offline content is still very substantial, accounting for more than half of total revenue for newspapers. This surprised me quite a bit, considering the constant talk in the tech world of “the death of old media,” so I asked her to take a guess at how much of total revenue offline content would make up in five or 10 years: 10 percent, she said.