Member Brief: The Great Merch Race

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The great merch race will be won by companies that value licensing agreements, trademarked products, and long-term partnerships. In a recent conversation with a digital media pioneer, we discussed the continued growth in commerce-driven publishing. Our discussion covered the main sectors: digitally-native publishing, live events (concerts, sports), and influencer-driven merch. This conversation was on the heels of BuzzFeed’s recent decision to part ways with 15% of its workforce (mostly reporters and editors), to emphasize growth via the Ben Kaufman-led eCommerce department. Kaufman’s group employs nearly 90 people and none were cut in the recent downsizing. BuzzFeed is clearly prioritizing commerce growth.

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