In the world of on-line publishing its the hit and not the sale that’s the operative measure of success. That’s a measure of how many people read your web-site. Every month 2,4-million hits are made on the Electronic Mail & Guardian, the on-line version of the Mail & Guardian newspaper which has in the past three years taken on an identity quite its own. Over 667 000 pages are read monthly.
Independent audits of various on-line newspapers have shown that the eM&G outstrips its closest competitors by more than four times.
It was these figures, plus a recent Loerie award for web-page design, which perked the interest of Mweb, the Internet arm of Multichoice (which also owns M-Net). Bruce Cohen, Mwebs director, initially started the M&Gs on-line publishing ventures.
The acquisition this week of a controlling 65 % stake in the eM&G by Mweb has been a like welcoming home a favourite baby for him.
The new company represents a very powerful force in on-line publishing, says Cohen. He adds: Size is very important in this business. And were planning a huge marketing drive to draw audience to this site. Mweb brings great Internet resources to the deal. Its cash injection into the eM&G will enable an expansion plan which should see the development of a 24-hour news operation.
This deal will give us the support to take Internet reporting to new levels of professionalism, offering reporting and entertainment thats delivered faster than radio, but with a range as broad as a national newspaper, says Irwin Manoim, the editor of the eM&G.
In turn, the on-line newspaper brings a quality African read into Mwebs stable. The company is on an acquisition trail in an effort to become the countrys leading Internet content and service provider.