In some big news for trail and ultra running, the legendary website Fastest Known Time has officially been sold to the media group Outsider Interactive Inc. That’s right, the independent website that has become the golden standard for record keeping has gone big business. As you can imagine there are plenty of mixed emotions about the sale. Below we will go into everything we know about the sale so far. And make sure to let me know how you feel in the comments below.
Fastest Known Time Sold to Outsider
What We know So Far
In early March, Fastest Known Time (also known as FKT) announced they were being sold to Outsider Interactive Inc (Outsider). The owners of such sites as Outsider.com, Backpacker.com, and TrailRunnermag.com. So if you are a big fan of these sites’ style of content, you should be happy.
Both of the current FKT owners Peter and Jeff will be leaving the website. And in the initial press release, they have stated that regional editors would be part of the transition. But for me this is where it gets tricky. The Fastest Known Time website was monitored by 18 volunteers that tracked submission for different regions. Volunteers who help build the website, I can only hope they have been treated properly in the transition.
Why it Happened
The founders of FastetKnownTime.com website really struck gold on their timing with this one. Founded in 2018 as a way to track individual trail time records, the website exploded in popularity in 2020 with the onset of the global pandemic. With runners unable to compete in races, they turned their focus to setting new individual trail speeds records. The perfect form of social distancing. And with this explosion in popularity came web traffic/clicks. And clicks mean big money to brands like Outside. So a deal was made.
What’s the Future of Fastest Known Time
So far Outsider has not announced any major changes and only touted an improved mapping system. Although, there is no information on exactly what this new mapping system will be. One thing I’m sure can be expected is some sort of monetization. Be it advertising or fees, Outsiders will find a way to make money off of the website. In their press release they also stated the new website would be launched in late March. But as of early April there had been no update. This may be a sign of things to come.
One of the biggest concerns for people is the pricing system that Outsider currently has for many of their websites’ content. FKT has been built on being a free resource run by the community. And with this sale many expect the next step to be either a subscription or submission charge.
It is going to be interesting to see how Outsider decides to make money off FKT. It will happen, it’s just a matter of how. I have a feeling this will be the biggest change we will see. Secondly, I really hope the volunteers that poured their unpaid time into building this website got something from this sale. I personally don’t know the founders but do hope they did the right things.
How this sale will change the FKT culture is yet to be seen. But let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll update this as we get more updates.