×

Bustle Digital Has Bought The Outline

Bustle Digital Group, the company behind websites like Bustle, Mic and Gawker, has acquired Joshua Topolsky’s The Outline, the company confirmed Wednesday afternoon. As part of the deal, Topolsky and his staff will join the Bustle Digital team. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition was first reported by Recode Wednesday afternoon after The Daily Beast broke the news about conversations between the two companies.

“The Outline has created industry leading technology and ad product,” said Bustle Digital founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg in a statement. “We love what they’ve done as an independent, story-driven publication, and look forward to working together to speak to new audiences BDG has not previously reached.”

“We can’t wait to bring our team, technology, and storytelling to the BDG family,” added Topolsky, The Outline’s founder and CEO. “Bryan and the company have built an impressive modern media business, and we’re excited to be part of the next chapter.”

Topolsky is best known for being one of the founding editors of The Verge. Following a brief stint at Bloomberg, he went on to found The Outline in 2016.

Popular on Variety

The site has been positioned as a niche digital magazine not playing to search engines and easy clicks, complete with the tag line “It’s not for everyone, it’s for you.”

However, the plan to sell this more exclusive approach to brand with heavy pockets may not have worked as intended, with Recode reporting that The Outline generated less than $1 million in revenue in 2018. As a consequence, The Outline laid off all of its staff writers last year, resulting in boycott campaign from freelance writers.

The Outline is just the latest struggling digital media company picked up by Bustle Digital. The company bought Mic in late 2018 after the publication had laid off most of its staff, and acquired the remnants of Gawker.com in a bankruptcy auction last summer.

The Outline had raised around $10 million, most recently adding $5 million to its coffers in May of 2018. Funders of the site included RRE Ventures, Boat Rocker Ventures, NextView Ventures and Advancit Capital.

More Digital

  • Jake Paul

    YouTuber Jake Paul Launches Entrepreneur How-To Platform, Financial Freedom Movement

    YouTuber Jake Paul wants you to be financially free, for $19.99 a month.  At a rally on Saturday, the content creator — along with influencer friends and around 50 teenage and tween-age fans, some chaperoned by parents — launched the Financial Freedom Movement (FFM) in partnership with GenZ Holdings Inc., a Los Angeles-based brand development [...]

  • HQ Trivia

    HQ Trivia Live Game App Shuts Down

    After a two and a half years, HQ Trivia — the live game-show app that gave away cash prizes to winners — is shutting down. HQ Trivia’s move to shut its doors was first reported by CNN. The company is laying off its 25 full-time staffers, according to the report. In a tweet Friday, CEO [...]

  • Golden Mics - The Podcast Academy

    The Oscars of Podcasting? First 'Golden Mics' Awards to Debut in 2021

    The burgeoning podcast biz is looking for its own version of the Oscars, Emmys and Grammys. On Friday, a group of podcast publishers and producers including Spotify, NPR, PRX, Sony Music Entertainment and Wondery announced the formation of the Podcast Academy, a membership-based organization dedicated to promoting the medium. As part of its charter, the [...]

  • Mike Bloomberg

    Mike Bloomberg's Odd Meme Blitz Spurs Instagram to Require Influencers to Disclose Paid Political Content

    A new paid meme campaign on Instagram by billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who’s running a guerrilla bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has prompted Facebook to clarify that influencers on the platform must disclose such arrangements. This week, Bloomberg’s presidential campaign launched a broad campaign across at least 19 top Instagram accounts with a collective [...]

  • Disney+ on Roku

    Roku Takes Credit for Being 'Important' Part of Disney Plus's Booming Q4 Signups

    Roku, in announcing strong 2019 holiday-quarter results, gave a bit of a flex in claiming it was a key part of Disney Plus reeling in 26.5 million customers in Q4. CEO Anthony Wood, on the company’s earnings call Thursday, gave props to Disney for blowing past Wall Street expectations with the new streaming service in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content