UrbanDaddy heads south to Miami

Requiring referrals for registration has kept the luxury-culture newsletter very small, but launching a Miami edition--its fifth U.S. city--will broaden its potential user base.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read

Since the new-media press has been gushing about e-newsletter start-ups for the past few hours, here's another tidbit: UrbanDaddy, a daily missive about luxury culture for the young and hedonistic, is set to announce its Miami regional edition, adding to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and a "Jetset" travel edition. (For the record, that's "daddy" as in "mack daddy," as this e-newsletter clearly has zilch to do with parenting.)

UrbanDaddy, which has about 315,000 subscribers and says it's doubling that year-over-year, is particularly notable for two quirky reasons: one, you have to be referred by a friend to join, which puts a choke on viral growth and keeps subscriber numbers on the low end, but gives it cachet. Two, it's a New York-based newsletter start-up that's never been affiliated with the Pilot Group--more unusual than you might think. That investment firm, headed by former MTV and AOL exec Bob Pittman, has quite the penchant for the newsletter niche: it took a majority stake in and then flipped Ideal Bite to Disney earlier this year, and reportedly has just sold DailyCandy to Comcast for $125 million.

It's likely that a sizeable portion of UrbanDaddy's readership can't actually afford the bottle-service nightclubs, private islands in the Baltic, and travel packages to eco-friendly Caribbean golf resorts that are detailed in its daily e-mails. But the company can score advertisements from high-end fashion and liquor brands that are within reach of the guys who want Ferraris, and that's what brings in the cash. (The site has not disclosed revenues.)

UrbanDaddy also operates a small men's fashion blog, Kempt.