Member Brief No. 10: Acquisition Targets

Sign In

This is another important moment in digital that will fly under the radar. Despite relatively minimal coverage and discussion around this acquisition, it marks a pivotal shift in publisher economics–one that serves as a central thesis of 2PM:

Read more by signing in. Not a member yet? Learn more here.

Member Brief No. 8: NYT Commerce Report

Sign In

The word commerce was a dirty one in the media space, until recently. One of 2PM’s capstone beliefs is that commerce is the central engine of the digital economy. That may seem to be a reasonable now. But consider that just two years ago, fewer than ten digital publishers maintained direct to consumer storefronts. Many will point to Jackthreads and Thrillist, so here is the clipping from May 2010 for reference:

Thrillist has acquired Gilt Groupe-for-dudes site JackThreads. The deal moves Thrillist, the NYC-based email-newsletter-for-dudes startup, into the e-commerce market. Previously, Thrillist has generated revenue through ads and sponsorships in its emails and on its website.

Spooked by the perceived failures of the Jackthreads x Thrillist partnership, content and commerce was dead on arrival as a revenue strategy for quite some time. But if you dug into the venture’s number, Jason Ross’s eCommerce company did quite well after being absorbed by Thrillist.

Read more by signing in. Not a member yet? Learn more here.

Issue No. 252: 10 to Observe in Content and Commerce

SocialPost_5422506_twitter

She who controls supply and demand will rule the internet. Publishers are recognizing that they must become whole ecosystems to thrive and commerce is a key component (again).

The ‘content and commerce’ movement was supposedly dead when Ben Lerer (Thrillist) and Jason Ross (JackThreads) chose to part ways. With this failure (hint: it really wasn’t a failure), it emboldened many in publishing to proclaim that commerce didn’t work.

Across newsrooms, from coast to coast, many publishing executives ignored investing in eCommerce between 2014-2017. Affiliate marketing teams were prioritized over ad sales teams and as a result, well-written articles went from literary showcases to collages of products to purchase.  As ad sales continue to dwindle and affiliate sales remain on shaky ground, many of the healthiest digital publishers had a paradigm shift of sorts:

  • How do we gain independence from platforms like Facebook?
  • How do we hedge against falling ad sales and a weakening affiliate market?
  • How do we foster community within our readership?

For many non-subscription and subscription digitals alike, merchandising has been used to address each of these questions. By building community, publications become a destination. Digiday covered this phenomenon, “The story behind that New Yorker tote bag.”

The must-have signifier of urbane sophistication in 2017 wasn’t Yeezys or torn jeans. It was a tote bag that The New Yorker gives to new subscribers.

The bag itself isn’t new — it’s been a gift the glossy has given out since 2014 — but thanks to Donald Trump and an iconic design, the bag became a hit. The magazine’s marketing department has distributed over 500,000 of them to new subscribers and existing ones, who soon started asking for bags of their own.

Continue reading “Issue No. 252: 10 to Observe in Content and Commerce”