May 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

Crypto media boom

Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals

A slew of new crypto media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year, thanks to the digital currency craze taking over Wall Street.

Why it matters: “For the first time ever, crypto has become relevant to the global macro-economic conversation, and therefore, the investment conversation," says Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks, a financial media brand catered to investors.

Details: Founded in 2018, Blockworks is one of several crypto-focused media companies with skyrocketing revenues.

  • The company anticipates $8-$10 million in revenue this year, Yanowitz tells Axios — up 3x from last year.
  • It plans to double in staff from 17 to nearly 40 by the end of the year, with the majority of new hires coming from the content side of its business.
  • The NYC-based firm is most well-known for its editorial site, daily newsletter, conference series, and its network of nearly 20 podcasts.

The big picture: "Similar to how previous cycles in crypto saw the emergence of new exchanges, this current cycle has seen an emergence of several media firms all trying to win mindshare in a young market," says Mike McCaffrey, CEO of The Block, a cryptocurrency-focused media startup.

  • The Block recently bought out its non-employee shareholders, including its investors and co-founders (who have left the company).
  • Another sizable crypto media business is CoinDesk, which Axios reported makes a profit selling ads, as well as custom reports.

Be smart: For many of these companies, the advertising support base is rich.

  • Blockworks has listed two dozen strategic advertising partners on its website, including Fidelity Digital Assets, CME Group, Coinbase, Gemini, and BlockFi.
  • Roughly 70% of The Block's revenue comes from advertising, while the rest comes from subscriptions to its paid news content and research products, per Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva.

The big picture: The risk with these companies for a several years was that the crypto market could at any time fade away. But today, that seems unlikely. Nearly 15% of all U.S. adults own some form of cryptocurrency.

What to watch: Media companies supporting the trend will continue to rise and innovate to meet the latest crypto trends.

  • For example, McCaffrey tells Axios, firms are testing new business models with tokenomics, "attempting to align interests of readers and creators, subscriptions, and ad revenue sources."
Go deeper