OLD Media Moves

Seeking Alpha to end third-party ads on site

December 22, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Investing advice site SeekingAlpha.com said Wednesday that it will stop running third-party advertising on its website.

Advertising was 70 percent of its revenue at the end of 2019 and is still about 25 percent of its revenue, said CEO David Jackson.

But Seeking Alpha grew its annual recurring revenue from subscriptions by 169 percent in 2020 and by over 80 percent in 2021. Jackson declined to disclose the total number of subscriptions.

“First, removing ads will allow us to grow revenue faster in the medium term,” said Jackson. “We get very high renewal rates on our subscriptions, so subscription revenue grows cumulatively much faster than ad revenue. Second, ads aren’t aligned with our users; subscriptions are. We wake up every morning asking what we can do to make the product better for our subscribers and show free users how we can deliver more value if they subscribe, rather than how to attract more eyeballs to sell ads.

“We’re not shutting down ads because they are weak,” he added. “On the contrary, the ad market is strong right now, and there’s a lot of demand from advertisers to reach our audience.

Jackson founded Seeking Alpha in 2004.

“We can do this because we are profitable, are generating cash, and can be profitable with subscriptions alone,” he said.

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