Six Apart Acquired. Farewell Movable Type?

4 minute read
Geoff Spick avatar

Say hello to SAY Media, Inc. The new company is a combination of media advertising player VideoEgg and Moveable Type's maker, Six Apart. The acquisition and new company formation have just been announced. Company reps assert that the combined media network now reaches more than 345 million unique visitors. Not much was said about the Movable Type web publishing software which launched Six Apart nine years ago this month. Speculation abounds.

We Will Consolidate

Mergers and buyouts are all the rage this month and from megamergers to the niche, the winnowing of the field continues. The latest play comes from the advertising market where VideoEgg, which started out in 2007 and has been through a few rounds of venture funding, has picked up Six Apart, the power behind TypePad, Movable Type and recently on the chopping block, Vox.

Just a couple of weeks ago both parties were denying this merger and Six Apart was kicking up a fuss over the closure of Vox, its social blogging network. Both are San Francisco-based, so this isn't some world-shaking merger, and most employees from Six Apart will be retained.

Six Apart itself is no stranger to the merger scene, having made some acquisitions of its own over the years. But as it has ventured into the monetization of its blogs and the ad space, it has become a target itself. Meet the lead players in the merger via a welcome video on the new company's blog.

SAY Media Explained from SAY Media on Vimeo.

Seal the Deal

Now the deal is all signed and sealed, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the merged entity. Since Six Apart has recently focused away from blogging and more into advertising revenue, it seems a natural acquisition for VideoEgg, whose rich media advertising network generates hundreds of millions of visitors from over hundreds of video, games and social sites.

What is likely is that blog-rival Wordpress will continue to gain market as the SAY Media team focus on the ad market, leaving the blogging side to mature slowly, wither or maybe be sold off again -- perhaps to a Japan-based interest, where the software has had much success.

The end of an era thing seems to be in the air, as Six Apart CEO, Chris Alden, is stepping down, while VideoEgg CEO Matt Sanchez takes the reins at the new company. Sanchez reckons the new entity will offer a compelling single platform for any content creator to build buzz and brand through social media.

Learning Opportunities

Commenters on the deal see it as way for the combined company to scale up towards an eventual IPO. Many suggest that Wordpress had already won the blog platform war and were expecting Six Apart to get out one way or the other.


SAY Media = VideoEgg + Six Apart

Not Much Talk of Blogging Software

The very recently launched SAYMedia.com site hardly mentions Movable Type, save for a link in the page footer, under a list of "Social Products". Fellow Social Products list members include TypePad and Blogs.com.

The news caused an understandable ripple through the Movable Type community of consultants and developers. Some struggled to understand the business synergies while most wondered about the future of their support contracts and of the technology itself.

In email discussions, Bryne Reese, the ex-Product Manager for Movable Type and current co-founder of the Melody project, an open source fork of Movable Type Open Source (MTOS), noted that both Movable Type and TypePad are solid products generating significant revenues. From his perspective, there is little chance that either will "go away" any time soon.

SAY Media will need to clarify the future of MT story. In the mean time the Japanese Six Apart website is hosting a (Japanese-only) statement that seems to indicate the Six Apart Limited brand will live on in Japan as a subsidiary of SAY Media, and that the subsidiary entity will continue to develop the software and advance the market. Time will tell.

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