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Magazine giant looking to step into e-commerce space for new revenue stream
Time Inc. announced on Tuesday it has acquired StyleFeeder, an ecommerce Website. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the Wall Street Journal reports the price was, "well into eight figures," based on someone familiar with the matter.
StyleFeeder has been offering users online personalized shopping experiences. It's a pattern recognition technology in which users can pick and choose clothing products they like, and based on the users selections, StyelFeeder makes recommendations for all sorts of items from thousands of online retailers which total to about 14 million products. It's a technology similar to Amazon's recommendations, but instead, focused on what to wear.
Time said it plans to use StyleFeeder's technology to power shopping across its InStyle family of brands.
The acquisition makes sense for Time. As advertising sales have declined for the magazine, it needs to find new revenue streams. Time's revenue from advertising fell 26% year-over-year in the first nine months of 2009, according to the Publishers Information Bureau.
Fran Hauser, President of Digital for Time commented, "This is a strategic step in building on our digital success. Our brands reach millions of consumers through our websites, social media and mobile products. StyleFeeder's e-commerce technology will open the door to new transactional revenue streams and give the InStyle community an experience they can't find anywhere else online."
A few interesting numbers shared in the press release: StyleFeeder has 1 million registered members and 600 thousand monthly unique visitors (comScore). InStyle has 1.5 million monthly unique visitors (comScore) and 1.5 million followers on Twitter. Time's network of sites attracts 43 million people and 2 billion page views per month.
With numbers like these, Time said it hopes the acquisition and integration of StyleFeeder will give it, "an ownership interest in the rapidly-growing apparel and accessories e-commerce space."
StyleFeeder received around $3.5 million in funding from Highland Capital Partners and Schooner Capital.
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