Ok, this one is just a rumor but I am doing some follow-ups based on a tip from a trusted source. According to my source, ABS-CBN might split ways with Multiply real soon.
In November 2008, ABS-CBN bought into Multiply with a 5% stake of the blogging/social network site for a reported US$5 million (~Php250 Million).
ABS-CBN was already selling local ads for Multiply then and this was strengthened by adding more Multiply sites for every show and TV program the network giant airs. The move was to help increase over-all site traffic and market share in the Philippines.
However, looking at Google Trends for Multiply in the Philippines, it didn’t seem to end that way:
Multiply had close to 250,000 daily unique visitors from the Philippines in early 2009 but slowly went down to under 150,000 by the end of the year.
By start of 2010, traffic continued to go down to just over 100,000 in the first quarter. There was a little bump around the time of elections, but continue to slide after that.
In the last 30 days, Google Trends estimated the traffic to be hanging in the 100k daily unique visitors a day. In comparison, Sulit.com.ph has more daily Philippine traffic than all of Multiply combined.
We don’t have solid reasons behind this alleged split-up but it’s possible that the steady decline in traffic in the last 18 months has something to do with it — which could have affected ad sales. This decline might have also been aggravated by the surge of Facebook users in the country with focus on Facebook Ads as the more popular platform.
I’m not also sure how ABS-CBN will settle the 5% stake with Multiply but the latter might just buy back those shares. Again, this is just a rumor but I think it’s worth further investigation. We’ll know soon enough if it’s really true.