DailyCandy, the 8-year-old newsletter company, is being rumored to be sold to Comcast for $75 million, according to Silicon Alley Insider. If bought, it would be the latest in a string of acquisitions by Comcast including ThePlatform, Fandango, Plaxo and Disney's Movies.com.
What's most interesting to me is DailyCandy's model.
From a New York article back in 2006, it says this:
"DailyCandy’s modus operandi is as simple as they come. It generates e-mails telling you what to buy and, on occasion, how to spend your weekend. The medium (e-mail) is the message (“you’re in”); the content, instead of being flanked by ads, is the ad. The genius is in the pitch of the pitch, which sustains an uncanny illusion of personal attention. “You’re no Cyndi Lauper,” a sample e-mail starts, “but the wanting to have fun? There you concur.” “You’re known for your stellar manners,” begins the very next one. On any given day, your in-box may hawk an online jeweler, steer you toward a tote made of discarded sails, coo over a spa, or gush about a hotel in Udaipur—but the story is always you...
"DailyCandy makes its money on ads in two ways: discreet sidebars on the site or in the e-mails themselves and separate, paid-for mail-outs, each honestly tagged “A DailyCandy Dedicated E-mail.” The company’s unique business model forces it to walk a microscopically thin line. On one hand, it prides itself on its unsullied integrity. On the other, its editorial content is practically indistinguishable from advertising—completely indistinguishable as far as the average reader is concerned. The paid-for e-mails are mildly curated (“We work with the advertiser to find an angle that will make their product more attractive to our reader,” says Levy) and written in the same breezy style as the unpaid ones. Often, admits Romano, these “advertorials” are written by the advertiser, faithfully copying the Candace Bushnell cadences of the house style. Clicking on a “dedicated” e-mail can induce a Twilight Zone moment as your trendy friend’s standards mysteriously drop: “When it comes to bath and body products, you really like to play the field. But . . . nothing compares to your first love, Neutrogena.”
With advertising in the dumps, will we see more creative types of advertorial models? I'm thinking - yep.