May 18, 2021 - Economy

Scoop: Coinbase is launching a media arm

Illustration of a golden glowing cryptocurrency with the Coinbase C

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Crypto giant Coinbase is launching its own media operation and looking to poach a top media editor to guide the effort, sources tell Axios.

  • Unlike a typical newsroom, that person would report into Coinbase's marketing team.

Why it matters: While sources say the media operation would act as a top-of-the-funnel marketing vehicle to draw more people to its cyptocurrency exchange, it also could be used to help the company drive its own narratives.

  • Silicon Valley giants, like a16z, have notably begun to develop their own content channels to bolster their investments and own their own narrative.

Between the lines: The idea, still in its early stages, is to hire an in-house team of roughly 30 to run a cross-platform media operation.

  • The operation would be led by a VP Content & Editorial, which the company is still searching for, according to two sources.
  • The idea would be to create content catering to both retail and institutional investors as a funnel to draw more people to its platform.
  • Coinbase declined request for comment.

The big picture: Crypto-focused media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year.

  • Rivals like CoinDesk, The Block, Decrypt, and Blockworks have hired journalists from top-tier outlets. Most of those crypto media companies launched two to three years ago, and are just now starting to get serious traction.
  • Blockworks anticipates $8 to 10 million in revenue this year, while being profitable, executives tell Axios.

The big picture: More broadly, many product-based companies, from casino operators to marketing software companies, are investing in building or acquiring media outlets to help boost sales and transactions.

  • For Coinbase, financing such an operation shouldn't be hard. The crypto giant reported a record profit last quarter, after going public in April.

Go deeper: Crypto media boom

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