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Patch.com Witnesses Record Growth

May was the platform’s most successful month to date, with nearly 12 million users and record-breaking revenue. And, we launched four new sites in suburban Chicago.

One of the reasons we love working at Patch is the reaction from our audience to the coverage and conversation across the local Patch network. We are so focused on the local scene that we don't often share the good news of Patch itself, still a toddler of a company that's growing by leaps and bounds.

Monday, we put out a press release about some of the growth we've seen:

Patch, AOL’s platform of local news, information and engagement sites, announced Monday, June 10, that May of 2012 was its most successful traffic and revenue period in the company’s history.  Patch served a record 11.7 million users in May (comScore), representing a 14% increase over April (10.3 million users) and an 11% increase over its previous traffic record (10.6 million users in August 2011). 

In addition: 

  • This 14% month-over-month growth outpaced the comScore Local/Regional category as a whole, which grew only 3% over the same time period.  
  • Patch had a 12% increase in engagement (visits per unique visitor) from April to May. Within the top ten local-regional properties, this represents the highest increase in engagement month over month, and ranks Patch as the second highest in engagement among those properties.
  • With an average site age of just over 18 months, Patch is now the #5 local/regional property on the web, from #10 when it first entered the rankings in December 2010.
  • Patch’s total revenue was 14% higher than its previous record (November of 2011). This represents a 17% bump in revenue over April of 2012.  Patch has already booked for 2012 130% of its total 2011 revenue.

“We are extremely gratified to see these measures of the traction we have gained in our communities and in our business since our launch just over 3 years ago,” commented Jon Brod, CEO & Co-Founder of Patch. “We are laser-focused on continuing to serve our users and advertisers with high-quality content and impactful products, and building upon our success to date in innovative and engaging ways.”

The news of Patch’s May performance follows the recent announcement by AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong that Patch will generate between $40 million and $50 million in revenue this year. Patch also recently announced the launch of Patch Partners, a program to offer exclusive benefits to its local advertisers and resources for business owners at large.

In the Chicago area, we opened four new Patch sites on May 31: Joliet, Arlington Heights, Park Ridge and Vernon Hills. If you have friends or family in these towns, please share.

John June 12, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Congrats, I love this site.
Eileen June 12, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The Patch is the first e-mail I check in the morning. Love this site!
Brian June 12, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Major kudos to Oak Forest Patch and surrounding editors for bringing us important LOCAL news. I hope to see the return of quality journalism in this new format. Some advice going forward; - Push hard against attempts to water down, from the higher-ups at AOL - Focus more on sustained, long-term investigative style reports for local issues - Ask tough questions, and don't buddy up so much with local officials (be an acquaintance not a friend) - Focus on objectivity - Do more behind the scenes on the officials, departments, and businesses of the city
FlossmoorMom June 13, 2012 at 01:26 AM
I agree with you Brian, great advice points! I wish there was less emphasis on random filler, like "This is what 200k buys you". I do think that it's nice that the staff seems so friendly with everyone, but it does seem to play into a bias.
Denise Borkowski June 13, 2012 at 02:41 AM
We're really pleased that this platform continues to grow and thrive. Proud to be a part of it.
lala June 13, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Please think of adding a Manhattan/Elwood Patch!
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) June 13, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Thanks, everyone, for the kind words and advice. I can assure you, Brian, that no one at Aol is asking us to "water down" anything. And FlossmoorMom, the feature you reference is part of our House&Home/Real Estate programming, which includes the weekly list of local home sales on Thursdays, a rundown of the priciest homes in the south suburbs on the weekends, and a snapshot of what you can get for your money in various suburbs on Mondays. If this doesn't do it for you and there's something else you'd like to see in the realm of real estate news, please let us know.
Christopher Paicely June 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM
I love Brian's comment, especially the tip "be an acquaintance, not a friend." Dennis hit the nail on the head about AOL. They let us do what we want. But is there a consensus that Patch stories tend to be too easy on public officials? This feedback really helps us going forward, mainly because we're in the unique position of being more than beat reporters. As a resident of Chicago Heights and a Patch editor, I have a vested interest in the city I report in. At the same time, I've only lived in this city for two years, which means longtime residents of the Heights are much more in tune with the context behind many of the local government's decisions. No amount of Internet research can help me there, only the people who have lived it. If readers think we need to be more hard hitting, that's what we need to do. You know your town.
Bob June 13, 2012 at 02:13 PM
I love the way you give a lot of leeway in the conversations and debates. The challenges from other posters to find facts in record to defend positions makes both the poster and responder better informed for the experience. If there's one criticism, I think better attention should be paid to some of the name calling and insults posted. Certain words like "idiots" and "racists" and a number of other epithets have no place in reasoned debate. Perhaps the greatest value of PATCH is the information provided by posters, so THAT should not be discouraged. It's really refreshing to have a forum like this that allows all points of view to be expressed, unlike Fran Eaton at Illinois Review and Rich Miller at CapitolFax. Anything not fitting their political agenda gets deleted (or in the case of IR, never posted) regardless of merit and accuracy). Seeing how the SouthtownStar is now smaller than a junk mail advertiser and other outlets don't bother to cover school and municpal Board meetings, outlets like PATCH is filling a need abdicated by most of the print media.
FlossmoorMom June 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I actually think Patch is best on facebook, people have to respond using their own names so there's really no name calling- sorry Dennis, I guess the real estate articles outside of the rental and real estate listings isn't that interesting to me...it was just my opinion. In the HF Patch, I personally really enjoy Ryan's face/off articles as well as coverage on accidents- I truly think the best best thing he has done so far has been this latest venture- speaking with the mayor. I love this and hope mayor Braun will engage as well. Chris, I have seen some excellent work on the Height's site, though I must say I don't really frequent it- when those articles used to be fed into the HF site I clicked over more often. I remember last summer the coverage on the Orland triangle was really well done as well. I guess it seems like the past 9 months or so the content has switched to being more local bloggers blogging about their interests...which is great...but I do miss the more newsworthy, happenings articles in long form instead of recaps. Anyhow, as I said, nice work Ryan on the new Q&A, I think this will really change the community dialog!
Christopher Paicely June 13, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Thanks, FlossmoorMom! The feedback is always helpful.
Marvin Daily June 13, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I love "Patch", and how they really key in on important issues in the South 'burbs. It's about time us Far Southers had a place where we could go to get pertinent info about OUR LOCAL AREA, not just Chicago. We are overlooked by just about everybody in the Chicagoland area, and the only time we get news coverage is when a Tornado comes (June, 2008), or when there is a shooting. I'm glad Patch is paying close attention to US. Good job, keep up the excellent work!!!!
QC August 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Congratulations to the entire staff at Patch! Great job of keeping everyone informed. Awsome site!

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