Home Digg Sees the Light of Profitability at the End of the Startup Tunnel

Digg Sees the Light of Profitability at the End of the Startup Tunnel

Digg CEO Jay Adelson told FOX Business tonight that ever since rolling out Digg Ads, the social link-sharing service has been making money and that profitability is right around the corner.

Although advertising continues to be the only seemingly reliable model for monetizing content-centric websites, Adelson reports that click-through rates are higher than expected. That being said, typical rates for online advertising are generally abysmal, so if Digg’s ads are working better than most, good for them, and let’s all study their model. Read – and watch – for the rest of the story on how Digg has grown and will continue to expand and monetize.

The FOX interviewer asked Adelson if micropayments were considered as a monetization option, “I think that micropayments is interesting,” he replied. “I think that if it works though – the level that it’s going to work is between somebody like Digg and the newspaper, as opposed to necessarly expecting that consumer to subscribe to some sort of micropayment system.”

This sort of talk would surely come as good news to Rupert Murdoch, who was referenced in the interview and has stated plans to charge search engines – and perhaps aggregators – that index and share snippets of the relevant, timely, and expensive content that traditional news outlets still struggle to integrate with modern Internet-enabled user behavior.

What about selling anonymized, aggregate user data? Adelson says he doesn’t want to sell that information unless users are generally cool with the idea. “I think that users are pretty sensitive now; they’re pretty savvy and they understand the idea that they have to be private.” But data on trends and user attention – data that would be highly valuable for old media to have and that might actually contribute to a better user experience – might be more in line with what Digg execs are willing and able to sell.

And what about the possibility of an IPO? Hold onto your hats, day traders. Adelson says that, while he feels he owes it to investors and employees to “go public at some point,” he’s waiting for two factors: A valuation he likes and the day that Digg needs “hundreds of millions of dollars for something.” In other words, we’re not shaking the quarters out of our piggy banks just yet.

So, what is coming next for Digg? It seems the company is planning to follow in Twitter’s footsteps and release international versions of the site. “About 40% of our traffic comes from international, but we have no other languages on Digg right now, so why not go there,” said Adelson.

Check out the whole interview below:

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