Over the past several years AnandTech has grown to be much more than just a PC hardware review site. In fact, we consider ourselves to be just as much about the new mobile world as we do about the old PC world. We leveraged our understanding of component and system architecture in bringing a deeper, more analytical look to mobile silicon and devices. As we continued to invest in our mobile coverage and expertise, we found that readers, mobile component and device makers responded quite well to our approach.

AnandTech’s focus grew, but we quickly ran into a bottleneck when it came time to monetize that mobile content. Our mobile content did a great job of helping to grow the site (as well as bring new eyeballs to our traditional PC coverage as well). While we had no issues competing with larger corporate owned sites on the content front, when it came to advertising we were at a disadvantage. Our advantage in quality allowed us to make progress, but ultimately it became a numbers game. The larger corporate owned sites could show up with a network of traffic, substantially larger than what AnandTech could deliver, and land more lucrative advertising deals than we were able to. They could then in turn fund a larger editorial operation and the cycle continues.

AnandTech has been profitable since its inception; it’s been on a great growth curve these past couple of years and we’ve always been able to do more with less, but lately there’s been an increased investment in high quality content. It wasn’t that long ago where the only type of content seeing real investment was shallow, poorly researched and ultimately very cable-TV-news-like. More recently however we’ve seen a shift. Higher quality content is being valued and some big names (both on the publishing and VC fronts) have been investing in them. Honestly we haven’t seen a world like this in probably over a decade.

Before his departure, Anand spent almost a year meeting with all of the big names in the publishing space, both traditional and new media players. The goal was to find AnandTech a home with a partner that had a sustainable business model (similar to AnandTech’s), but could add the investment and existing reach to allow the site to better realize its potential. That search led to a number of interesting potential partners; it was a refreshing experience to say the least knowing that there are groups in the world who really value good content. Ultimately that search brought AnandTech to Purch.

Purch met the requirements: they have a sustainable business model, are profitable and have the sort of reach AnandTech needs to really hit the next level. More fundamentally however, Purch’s values are in line with AnandTech’s. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that Purch acquired one of AnandTech’s biggest competitors in the late 1990s: Tom’s Hardware. Purch had already demonstrated a value for the sort of deep, long form content AnandTech was known for. In meeting with the Purch business and editorial teams, there was a clear interest in further developing AnandTech’s strengths as well as feeding back AnandTech’s learnings into the rest of the Purch family.

AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware remain editorially independent, and though no longer competitors, the goal is to learn from one another. To further invest in the areas that make us different, and together with the rest of the Purch family help to bring a higher standard of quality to the web.

The AnandTech team is staying in place and will continue to focus on existing coverage areas. We’re not changing our editorial policies or analytical approach and have no intentions of doing so. The one thing that will change is our ability to continue to grow the site. This if anything starts from the top; with a publisher to more directly handle the business of AnandTech, this frees me up to spend more time on content creation and helping the rest of our editors put together better articles. And in a hands-on business like journalism that benefit cannot be overstated.

AnandTech was an incredibly powerful force as an independent publisher, but it now joins a family whose combined traffic is eight times larger than what AnandTech was on its own. Our goal is to continue to invest in what we feel is the right approach to building high quality content; now we have an even greater ability to do just that.

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  • alfredska - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    You may not have a choice in the matter.
  • FlyTexas - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    You might not have "sold out", but if you think that things will continue as-is, I have a bridge to sell you.

    It might take 6 months, it might be a year, but when a new AMD or nVidia card comes out, do you really think the new owners want to pay two teams to run what is really the same tests?

    You might write different articles, but don't be shocked when the testing side gets combined and when results start being shared.
  • ddriver - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    ""Sold out" implies compromising ones morals or ethics"

    True, AT sold out a long time ago, now it just got sold :) Sorry to be that guy to speak the inconvenient and harsh truth, but AT has long abandoned the path of an objective hardware review website to become yet another beacon of consumerism preachment to impressionable chumps.
  • ddriver - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    And hey, I don't say that as if it is something exceptionally bad, selling out is like the norm, sure it is bad... but it is NORMAL :) Sadly...
  • JonnyDough - Sunday, December 28, 2014 - link

    You obviously don't read Tom's. Ryan how long do you think you'll be working for Anandtech now? I wouldn't give you a year.
  • eanazag - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    Anandtech is damn near my home page. I appreciated the independence. The ads are healthy. I have been a reader somewhere since 2007-2009. I miss Anand. I can understand he likely had no personal life with running the show here. His departure worried me a little. Over time I will say his absence is noticeable on the content. Although the site is still the best around. I never click ads on any site. I did here on occasion. Could there be some welcome tweaks to the site? Yes. Be very careful with them though. I have never cared for Tom's hardware. I have read a handful of articles there over the years. I prefer to read here. I did notice the AMD Omega drivers memo being late. I'm okay with that because I have been able to count on the insight at AT to be more valuable than a straight up news release that I can read at a corporate newsroom page.

    AT has been great listeners and responsive to readers over the years. I hope that continues. It is a little more sad news today. Hopefully my concern is unwarranted.
  • soccerballtux - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    similar sentiments, where else is there to go for quality reviewing?
  • agoyal - Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - link

    I have been reading Anandtech regularly since 1999. Tomshardware quality deteriorated very rapidly after it got acquired, I rerely ever go to that site anymore. For the past 1-2 years the number of reviews at Anandtech have been slowly declining, I don't know how to put it but the site is becoming "dull". With Anand leaving and now this...I don't have much hope but would love to be proven wrong.
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    I think part of the slowness is down to the industry itself. Back in the day, CPUs, GPUs and later even SSDs came out fast and furious with almost yearly process shrinks pushing them along. Remember when GPUs refreshed every six months? These days it's big news when a 15% faster CPU comes out or someone manages to buildt a faster GPU on a three year old process node without inadvertently creating a space heater.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

    And with process nodes getting ever more complex to develop, I'm not sure what's next. The reason mobile is important is that it's faster growth (in numbers and relative performance). I can use a variety of laptops and desktops and think they're all "fast enough", but when I hop on my Nexus 5 there are a lot of things that are far slower than I'd like. Rendering web pages is a prime example, but loading simple games takes FOREVER at times (hello PvZ2).

    I want my phone to feel as fast as a moderate laptop, and while we're getting closer it's still nowhere near close. That TDP discrepancy is hard to overcome of course, but if software requirements don't bloat much, maybe by the time we're in single digit process technology I will finally have a phone that doesn't make me grumble every time I surf the web.

    Also, I need newer and better eyes, because at 41 my smartphone is not really enjoyable for reading content. Yes, that 27" to 30" desktop display is far more to my liking.... When can I upgrade my eyes (with no risk of going blind)? :-)

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