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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  • TheSlamma - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    This is exactly how I feel, Toms was a daily site for me in the late 90's.. and now it's not a consideration ever. Same thing happened to Firing Squad after thresh left. I think the guys here are doing a great job now, but the problem with companies like purch is they are filled with talking head management types who only care about bottom dollar and when they drive a good thing into the ground they flat out do not care.
  • James5mith - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    My only complaint with Anandtech, and tech sites in general really in the last few years is the lack of editors. We have plenty of people writing articles, but nobody is proofreading them, fixing mistakes, reading them out loud back to the writer to realize they have abysmal grammar, etc. It's very jarring to read a high level review of some piece of technology, only to find spelling errors, grammar errors, and a lack of complete sentences sometimes. In the words of an old person "Back in my day, Anandtech actually proof read their articles before publishing!"
  • Takamata - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    I agree. Deep professional analysis can suddenly seem amatatuer when the writing style is amateur.

    It doesn't happen all the time here, but I distinctly remember a few times being like "did anyone read this over before posting?"
  • Takamata - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    Yeah, I see the irony in my comment. That's what happens when you don't re-read. (Or when you type comment on iPhone on subway.)
  • FlyTexas - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    No irony, you're not being paid to write a professional article, you're making a comment in the comments section, it is ok. If you were paid to write the main article, then yea, unacceptable.
  • HardwareDufus - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    I saw that the feeds from DT were removed a few days back, so I knew some sort of announcement was imminent. I quite liked the AT/DT tie in..... But I can imagine corporate sponsors not wanting to invite Mick along for the ride. Pity.... I quite like Micks contributions... even if he does miss the mark a time or two.
  • Murloc - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    yeah it did strike me as weird too. Now that DT clickbait isn't put under my noise anymore, I don't think I will go there on purpose to read Mick's rants anymore.
  • FlyTexas - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link


    Frankly, if you think there shouldn't be any changes in how you generate content with this new ownership, then you're in for a rude awakening...

    I'm not questioning your moral integrity, I'm simply saying that it isn't personal, it is business. There is no way that the new owners are going to, long term, pay two teams to run the same tests on the same hardware in two locations. It is a waste of money.

    You might get to write articles, but over time the "data sharing" will increase, you'll perhaps run half the tests, Tom's might run the other half, and you'll share the results and write something about it.

    Or perhaps all the testing will get moved to one side or another with the testing results passed on.

    Your new owners are a business, all the pretty words in the world don't change that, money rules large companies in the end.

    Give it 6 to 12 months, then come back and say nothing has changed internally.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, December 18, 2014 - link

    I've met with people from THG plenty of times at events, and you know what? Their job sounds pretty much identical to my job. Shocking, I know. If you buy a profitable company to add their income to your revenue stream, but then you totally overhaul everything that made the company profitable, that's sort of an odd approach.

    We'll see I suppose, and given AT has always had a very small business feel to it (there's precious little oversight of what editors do, really), it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to have some changes. But if I'm told to start writing advertorials or whatever... well, I already get accused of that for having the audacity to write a guide recommending a variety of hardware, laptops, etc. Which is something I've done at AnandTech since the beginning, so really, nothing really changed. (See: http://www.anandtech.com/show/1518, which is probably one of the first five or so articles I wrote at AnandTech. Heck, we even had "weekly" buyers guides in the past.)
  • FlyTexas - Friday, December 19, 2014 - link

    Yes, only time will tell...

    I will say that a smart new manager won't make large changes quickly, it is too jarring... You're very unlikely to be told to write "advertorials", rather you're likely to find a new managing editor who has a new role of "quality control" to improve the grammar and presentation of articles.

    Professional news publications have these people, their job is to clean up the copy and make sure nothing really offensive goes out, while making sure the headlines are catchy. It is very easy to slowly edit articles via such a person by changing this or that... Sometimes it is easy to spot, sometimes it happens slowly over time...

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