Part 2 – What is Stickman Worth?
StickmanBangkok.com, the most popular and successful nightlife site, is for sale.
So how much is it worth?
Any discussion of value has to start with the acknowledgment that StickmanBangkok.com site is unique.
No other site has the same uniform readership.
Anyone wanting to reach the Bangkok Expat/Sexpat community need only buy a Stickman ad or pay for one of Stickman’s vanity pieces, e.g. Visiting the Bank Manager and every paid for hit be from exactly the target audience you are trying to reach.
StickmanBangkok.com has the identical power and appeal of Google Adwords. Buy the words “Bail Bonds Los Angeles” and, if you are an L.A. bail bondsman, every hit will be a live lead.
In the advertising world, it’s hard and usually nigh impossible to get that kind of relevancy from your advertising dollar and there is no other Thailand site with this unique and valuable characteristic.
So what’s that worth?
Here are some back of the envelope calculations that establish a reasonable price.
If you are too lazy to go through the calculations the bottom line is about $100,000 USD or 3,000,000 THB.
First, let’s look at the main source of revenue.–banner advertising.
There are currently 21 banner adds on Stickman’s home page and 12 ads scattered around the other parts of the site.
At 5000 THB (the full ad rate) per month those adds generate a monthly income of (33*5000) 165,000 THB per month or 1,980,000 THB ($66,000 USD) per year.
Some of these might be provided free to friends and some may take advantage of the discount for signing up for multiple months (4000 THB per month for 3 months).
Reduce the 1,980,000 THB to 1,600,ooo THB to reflect these discounts.
Second, subtract expenses.
For a website like Stickmanbangkok.com there are very few expenses.
The main expense is compensating a decent writer to generate content people want to read but more on that later.
With the volume and type of content (text with a few images), the network and bandwidth expenses are minimal.
I doubt it costs more than $50 USD or 1500 THB per month to host Stickman.
So subtract 18,000 THB ($600 USD) for network costs.
Third, take a present value.
An annual income of 1,582,000 THB (1,600,000-18,000) for 10 years at an interest rate of 5% is worth 971,210.77 THB or $323, 373
This baseline figure then has to be adjusted for the intangibles.
1) As mention in Part 1, the main intangible is stickmanbangkok.com with no Stickman writing his weekly column will quickly have no readers.
Nightlife writers who can generate content that people are interested in reading are few and far between. They don’t grow on trees.
Look at the current crop of nightlife writers and you will see what I mean. Many are great reading, e.g. Mobi and BangkokBuddy, but they don’t generate the type of content that will generate Stickman like numbers.
So if Stickman is no longer writing, where can you get weekly content and what are you going to pay for it.
With the low start up and maintenance costs of a website, any author who becomes popular always has the option of starting his own website.
Pay someone to write for the site, let him get a following and fanbase and you will have to pay him most of the revenue generated by the site.
With a monthly income of 165,000 THB per month there isn’t that much revenue to pay the guy anyway.
Pay 65,000 THB per month and you’ve reduced the monthly income to 100,000 THB and the PV of the site to about $200,000.
2) The second intangible driving down the value of StickmanBangkok.com is the real possibility the Thai government will block access to the site in Thailand. Stickman himself has talked about this in his columns and longtime readers will remember when the URL for the Big Mango Blog was blocked by the Thai government. The Big Mango Blog had to be switched to an alternative URL and fingers had to be crossed that the government wouldn’t block the new URL too. A capricious decision by one anonymous Thai bureaucrat ant StickmanBangkom.com will be worthless.
3) The third intangible is the general decline of the Bangkok bar business. Walk down Cowboy and you’ll see fewer white faces and fewer customers spending less money in the bars. Walk through Nana Plaza, look around, and its clear the place is on hold prior to being torn down. Without the bars and their customers, the value of advertising that reaches is diminished. This has to push down the value of the site.
It just my opinion, but these intangibles mean that a price for StickmanBangkok.com has to be discounted heavily.
If the Bangkok bar business does not decline in the next 10 years, the Thai authorities don’t censor the nightlife site in the next 10 years, and Stickman continued to churn out his weekly column (for free) with no drop off in business for the next 10 years, the site would be worth about $300,000 USD.
If you paid a writer 65,000 THB per month to generate new content, the site would be worth $200,000 USD.
Anyone actually buying the site and its content, has to discount the price to take into account all the downside risks.
IMHO, $100,000 USD or 3,000,000 THB would be a reasonable price which would give a new owner a decent chance of recouping his investment.
He will have to weather the storms which will surely batter the bar business in the next decade, hope to avoid censorship, and be able to find a decent but not Stickman quality writer to produce new content at a reasonable price.