Popular local startup relaunches its particular brand of infotainment as Daily Hive
Vancity Buzz, an eight-year-old news and lifestyle blog which has surpassed the online readership numbers of traditional news organizations, has announced plans to open newsrooms in the competitive markets of Toronto and Montreal.
On the new site, rebranded as Daily Hive, founder and editor Farhan Mohamed stresses that the change is not an acquisition but “an evolution.” “At a time when traditional media outlets are centralizing their operations, we’re proud to be actively putting boots on the ground, because no one knows a city like its own people,” he writes. “And that’s really the essence of what Vancity Buzz, and now Daily Hive, is all about.”
Started in a South Vancouver basement in 2008, Vancity Buzz began as a collection of quick-hit stories, high on entertainment and gossip and low on substance, chiefly aimed at millennials.
Since then, it has also aspired to standard news coverage along with (very) long-form personal essays, reviews, interviews with musicians and models, and sports. It relies on sponsored content as well as advertising for revenue, and does not always designate content as paid. It now counts 24 full-time staff and 7.5 million hits a month, readership numbers that dwarf those of traditional media.
However, gaining traction in the crowded markets of Toronto and Montreal may prove a challenge for the upstart blog. With well-established operations such as mtlblog.com (whose owner, Narcity Media, has also struck up a Vancouver site) and the Torontoist, an award-winning journalism site owned by St. Joseph Media, the online world is a much more competitive place than it was in 2008.
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