Tuesday, October 27, 2009


In the wake of the failure of a partner Web news site in Spain, Rue89 today offers a glimpse of its own present financial situation:

Avec à peine deux ans et demi d'existence, Rue89 approche progressivement de l'équilibre économique. Celui-ci pourrait être ponctuellement atteint au quatrième trimestre 2009, mais pas encore en année pleine. Il faudra sans doute attendre encore trois ou quatre trimestres avant d'atteindre le point d'équilibre, clé de l'indépendance et de la pérennisation de l'entreprise.

That's good to know, even if the price of survival is selling T-shirts and coffee mugs:

Lancé un peu plus tôt, en mai 2007, Rue89 a développé un modèle économique mixte dans lequel la publicité sous toutes ses formes (bannières, mur, liens sponsorisés…) n'est pas la seule source de revenus, grâce aux activités de prestation de service (développement de sites pour d'autres clients), de formation continue, et de vente de T-shirts et de mugs.

I find this slightly sad, since I think Rue89 has a claim on being the best news source in France today. It's not as comprehensive as Le Monde, but on the subjects it treats it is consistently more interesting. I hope that a sustainable situation is not too far distant. Meanwhile, I encourage you to buy T-shirts and coffee mugs.


Anonymous said...

they could do so much more than just sell t-shirts and coffee mugs. there's a whole slew of paraphenalia which readers and hangers-on could be interested in - call it tribal conspicuous consumption.
Rue89 could become a brand name for people who dig their news and want to show off to others their intellectual leanings.
its not a sad thing to sell derivative products - but it is sad when such minor items gain such importance since it reflects a shaky situation.
it'll be a good day when the site sells Rue89 ground coffee to put in the mugs and sells Zadig & Voltaire or some othe bobo clothes designer the rights to use the Rue89 name for its line of 100 euros t-shirts. they ought to think of copyrighting their name, btw.

Chris P.

Pascal Riché said...

Hi, I'm the news editor of Rue89. Thanks for this article. But dont be so sad: mugs and t-shirts represent only 2% of Rue89's revenue!

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Glad to hear it. Keep up the good work.

Cincinna said...

Thanks, Art, for turning me on to Rue89.

Thanks, Pascal Riche for yur site. Sort of like the new bright star of the internet in America, Andrew Breitbart, but with mugs.


Selling LOGO stuff is the American way of staying in business. So glad to see French enterpreneurs follow suit.