Blog company Automattic has a massive audience, less-massive revenue

Executives from Automattic, the company behind blogging service WordPress, recently took the stage at the Le Web conference in Paris, where they shared some details about how the company is doing, as recounted in TechCrunch. The big takeaway: Automattic has signed up a long list of publishers who reach a huge audience, but it hasn’t succeeded in turning that into equally an impressive source of revenue.

Specifically, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg and chief executive Toni Schneider said there are 30 million publishers using WordPress, and that 300 million unique visitors come to sites hosted on WordPress.com. (The WordPress.com hosting service is the main way that Automattic makes money from WordPress, which is an open source technology — VentureBeat, for example, uses WordPress but is not hosted on WordPress.com.) That translates into a little less than $1 million in revenue each month, they said.

Add those numbers up for an entire year, and WordPress brings in less than $12 million in annual revenue — citing anonymous sources, TechCrunch said the actual number is about $10 million.

Mullenweg and Schneider said that’s gotten the company to the break-even point. They also said that Automattic is more focused on growth than revenue, so presumably that revenue should start going up quickly when the focus shifts. That will certainly need to happen if Automattic hopes to have an initial public offering — which Mullenweg and Schneider implied when they said their goal is not to be acquired.

Automattic has raised more than $30 million in funding.