Throughout most of Ziff Davis' history, it was a publisher of hobbyist magazines, often ones devoted to expensive, advertiser-rich technical hobbies such as cars, photography, and electronics. However, since 1980, Ziff Davis has primarily published computer-related magazines, and its websites, derived from its magazines, have established Ziff Davis as an internet information company.
Ziff Davis had several broadcasting properties, first during the mid-1970s, and later with its own technology network ZDTV, later renamed to TechTV, that was sold to Vulcan Ventures in 2001. Ziff Davis' magazine publishing and internet operations offices are based in New York City, Massachusetts, and San Francisco.
On January 6, 2009, the company sold 1UP.com to UGO Entertainment, a division of Hearst Corporation and announced the January 2009 issue of the long-running Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine as the final one.
Former Time Inc. executive Vivek Shah, with financial backing from Boston private equity company Great Hill Partners, announced on June 4, 2010, the acquisition of Ziff Davis Inc. as the "first step in building a new digital media company that specializes in producing and distributing content for consumers making important buying decisions."
On November 12, 2012, Ziff Davis Inc., was acquired by cloud computing services company j2 Global of Hollywood, Calif. for $167 million cash. According to a late 2015 Fortune article, Ziff Davis comprises 30% of parent company j2 Global's $600 million annual revenue (2014) and is increasing 15% to 20% each year. Analyst Gregory Burns of Sidoti & Company calculates that Ziff Davis is worth $1.9 billion.