Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Perfect Market Raises Another $9 Million to Help Papers Sell Old News

Perfect Market doesn’t promise to save the newspaper business. But the company says it can help papers wring more money out of the stuff they’re already making.

That pitch has been enough to raise $19 million for the Pasedena, Calif.-based company, and now it has added another $9 million in a round led by Comcast’s venture capital arm. Earlier investors Idealab, Rustic Canyon Partners, Tribune Company and Trinity Ventures have all re-upped as well.

Perfect Market‘s main offering is a service that hosts big publishers’ old stories in a Google-friendly way, and sells ads against the archived content. The very short pitch: Why let Demand Media and its ilk get all the search ad dollars?

Things are getting more interesting now, though, as the company rolls out analytics and a dashboard that is supposed to help writers and editors figure out how to make the stories they’re writing now make more money in the future, via SEO-like tips.

And they’ll get very interesting down the road, as Perfect Market gives writers and editors the ability to help choose stories that are more likely to generate ad revenue down the line.

That’s either cunning or creepy, or maybe both, but the company isn’t there yet. It has been testing a version of its analytics package with the Tribune-owned Orlando Sentinel, and says it is working on a 2.0 version of its software for release this year. We’ll check back with the company later on….

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work