Marketing assets

Are Media acquires e-commerce player as it seeks to diversify revenue

Ms Huxley was appointed chief executive in April 2021 and Are Media has gone through a quiet few months as she settles in and the business prepares for its future.

“Coming into the business, I spent a good six months researching, listening, learning about the business and trying to figure out a strategic direction for the business,” she said.

E-commerce capability

Are Media has pledged to invest $20 million in technology and infrastructure over the next three years to drive the business forward.

The strategy includes the acquisition of e-commerce platform Hard to Find founded by Erica Stewart, who will join Are Media as Managing Director of Hard to Find.

But Ms. Huxley is clear: it wasn’t the hard-to-find storefront she wanted, but the tech stack behind it.

“What we’re getting here is an e-commerce capability. Yes, we now have a storefront called Hard to Find, but the acquisition is really about adding that basic e-commerce capability to our media that we can leverage across all of our beloved brands over time,” he said. she declared.

“I wanted to be able to add this ability to diversify revenue from all of our businesses across Are Media, and that will be the strategic direction we take.”

The company’s strategy to diversify its revenue base and protect its brands is not new. Nine Entertainment (owners of this masthead)’s push towards streaming, both subscription and ad-supported, was designed to make the company a growth company rather than a management-focused one. declining assets. Fairfax Media’s push into digital subscriptions and its foray into streaming with Nine as a joint venture partner with Stan, is another example of traditional media companies looking to diversify their revenue.

Ms Huxley acknowledged Are Media was playing catch-up, saying “in a sense it is”.

“Revenue diversification is not a new strategy around content businesses. It is cyclical, as we have already seen. But I think we’re taking a slightly different tangent. Companies have looked at lead generation, they’ve looked at a lot of different models here,” she said.

“We are already creating this amazing content and have a very authentic connection with our customers. They are naturally waiting for us to start using that influence and inspiration to take it to the next level.

For Are Media, e-commerce seems like a natural step in providing its audience with a curated shopping experience “from sources they trust”. However, it does put the publisher as a firm competitor with Snapchat and Pinterest, both of which aim to become social shopping platforms, as well as local retailers Adore Beauty and Mecca, both of which have pushed content hard. as means selling more products.

Ms Huxley isn’t worried, suggesting brands such as Adore Beauty and Mecca are the ones catching up.

“We’ve been in this content business for a very, very long time, and we have enormous reach and influence through our stable of brands,” she said.

“So as far as the top of the funnel goes, if you like all the content, it’s a big catch-up game for everyone.”