The company behind ‘The Pomp Podcast’ is launching a ‘Bloomberg meets the Morning Brew for crypto’ news site to capitalize on the bitcoin boom

  • Blockworks — a financial media company that consists of a podcast network, events and a newsletter — is launching a news site focused on cryptocurrency.
  • The company hopes to stand out in a crowded market by reaching a more traditional finance audience.
  • Blockworks says it generated more than $3.5 million in revenue in 2020 and is on track to at least double that in 2021.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Blockworks, a 3-year-old financial media company behind the popular “The Pomp Podcast,” is launching a news site on Tuesday to capitalize on the growing interest in cryptocurrency

The site, also called Blockworks, aims to stand out in a crowded market by aiming at more traditional finance readers, such as institutional investors and fund managers. The design is modeled on publications like Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal and features a real-time asset price ticker, including current gold and oil prices, traditional financial markets data, and price information for digital currencies like bitcoin and ethereum.

“We’re building a Bloomberg-meets-Morning Brew for crypto,” Blockworks cofounder Jason Yanowitz told Insider. “We wanted to make the site comfortable for the more traditional Wall Street investor.”

Read more: Industry Dive built a profitable media company on B2B news — now it’s acquiring and expanding its finance coverage to capitalize on a jittery market

The current crop of cryptocurrency news sites largely appeals to a young “cypherpunk” crowd of ardent crypto enthusiasts, Yanowitz added. And while well-resourced and established financial publications are increasingly covering the space, Yanowitz hopes Blockworks will offer more niche coverage and depth.

The newsroom will be led by Blockworks cofounder Michael Ippolito, who is taking on the role of editor-in-chief; and a new staff of five. Those hires roughly double the company’s headcount to 14, with plans to grow to 20 by year’s end.

While the site will run some ads, the main aim is to drive readers towards a new daily newsletter, which will be monetized through ads. Blockworks’ weekly Sunday newsletter has “five figures of subscribers” and an open-rate of around 40%, Yanowitz said. Previous advertising clients have included Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, IBM and Coinbase.

Brooklyn-based Blockworks originally launched as an events business. It also has a network of 20 podcasts, including “The Pomp Podcast,” a finance show hosted by entrepreneur and investor Anthony Pompliano; and “Untold Stories,” a cryptocurrency podcast hosted by the controversial BitInstant founder Charlie Shrem. Blockworks says its podcasts are downloaded more than 20 million times each month. Blockworks has never raised outside institutional investment and doesn’t plan to, Yanowitz said.

Blockworks started working on the news site early last year. The company’s revenue had dropped 80% as the pandemic ground its in-person events to a halt and advertisers paused spending. Yanowitz said Blockworks interviewed more than 100 investors about how the company could be a better source of cryptocurrency information.

Advertisers soon came back and Blockworks generated $3.5 million in revenue last year. The company plans to do “at least double” that in 2021, according to Yanowitz. 

The Blockworks site enters an already-crowded cryptocurrency media vertical with players including CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, and Bitcoin Magazine. Still, there’s growing interest in the volatile cryptocurrency space. Last week, the overall value of the cryptocurrency market hit above $1 trillion for the first time. This week, cryptocurrencies tumbled, wiping off nearly $140 billion in total market cap.

“Investors and fund managers are having to take Bitcoin very seriously — [having been] sniffy and not really understanding it about a year ago, they can’t ignore it any more,” independent media analyst Alex De Groote said.

However, he added, “It’s a very competitive industry space [for media companies] and I wonder how much revenue is in that space … I don’t know if this industry is strong enough to support reader revenue [through subscriptions] yet.”

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