Member Brief: Facebook and the Middle Man

Pictured: early Instagram Checkout partner, Warby Parker

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Where Warby Parker goes, the industry follows. This is what Instagram executives are hoping for. If you were to start an online retail business today, how would you do it? Facebook is making the bet that in 2020 and beyond, the conversation will begin with them. And for prospective DTC owners, Instagram’s cozy relationship with Shopify may already influence decision-making on behalf of challenger brand founders.

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Member Brief: A Familiar Strategy

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Amazon operates in such a way that it’s no longer just a business, it’s a generational institution. The Bezos-led retailer lords over the industry with an astounding 300 million shoppers, each month. For a vivid picture, there are 325 million Americans and 110 million Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) powers a disproportionate number of government and digital publishing websites. And on top of these figures, Amazon is the number two employer in America with nearly 600,000 workers on its payroll. Only Walmart employs more (2.5 million).

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Member Brief: Sports Media and Vertical Integration

With news of BuzzFeed considering a merger with Group Nine Media, mergers and acquisitions are back in the limelight for digital publishers. But the industry that stands to benefit the most from the current consolidation trend is sports media. The year ahead stands to be one primed for M&A discussion, as three companies have committed to exorbitant spending to capture customer attention: ESPN+, DAZN, and The Athletic.

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