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Animal Político is a political news and aggregation website from México.
Founded in October 2009, it first started as the Twitter account of a fictional character (Pájaro Político or Political Bird) curating content from international news organizations, breaking news, publishing scoops and even doing interviews in 140 characters. Pájaro Político was the first Mexican media outlet that conducted a live interview via Twitter.
“We defined our approach as ‘social-first’. We wanted to create a community,” says Daniel Eilemberg, one of the site’s founders. Since it started, Pájaro Político used humor and a very conversational tone to engaged with its followers in a very active interaction. As a result, the audience following grew rapidly.
One year later, in November 2010, Animal Político was born as a web-only media organization. Four investors with experience in the publishing industry decided to fund the all-digital project, modeling it after sites like Politico and The Huffington Post.
Eilemberg and his business partners had work experience with political coverage. They were behind Poder (Power, in English), a successful magazine devoted to cover heads of State, bankers, presidential candidates, and tycoons. The publication had 7 editions (México, Colombia, Venezuela, Perú, Chile and one for the hispanic market in the U.S.) when it was sold in 2008, just before the economic crisis erupted.
Therefore, the investors backing Animal Político took their time to decide when was a good moment (business-wise) to launch the project. Now, the site is 18 months-old and for the first time it is close to breaking even. Ad revenue is growing and Animal Político is planning to diversify the ways to make money. On the editorial side, they are planning to try syndication of their content and organizing events around the topics the site covers.
On the editorial side, the outcome has been very positive so far. In May 2012, two months after the presidential election in México, the site drew 1.167.000 unique visitors. That’s high season for a site like Animal Político, but its editors hope the readership keeps growing after a new president gets elected.
Animal Político is owned by Elephant Publishing LLC and Printed Matter LLC, both companies based in the U.S. Its newsroom is located in Mexico City.
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