Only close watchers of paid digital content (paywalls) will have heard of Piano Media, a little three-year old Eastern European start-up that has steadily been adding clients. Today, Piano leaps to the front of the paywall vendor line, announcing its acquisition of Press+, the dominant provider in the United States.
That same little company also hired Kelly Leach, publisher of the Wall Street Journal’s European edition, as its new CEO, and plans aggressive expansion into Latin American and Asian markets where digital pay is just beginning to get serious attention from publishers.
If the transaction, being described as a merger, sounds like a minnow swallowing a whale, it is. Press+, which Poynter uses to solicit donations, is 8.8 times as big in revenues, Piano communications director David Brauchli said in an e-mail exchange. … Read more