1/19/10

Time Inc. buys online social shopping company StyleFeeder

Time Inc. announced today it has acquired social shopping site StyleFeeder.com. The acquisition is aimed at increasing Time Inc.’s revenue stream from referring consumers to online retail sites.

Zak Stambor , Managing Editor

Time Inc. announced today it has acquired social shopping site StyleFeeder.com. The acquisition is aimed at increasing Time Inc.’s revenue from referring consumers to online retailers at a time when magazine advertising revenue is weakening, Fran Hauser, who oversees digital strategy for a group of Time Inc. magazines including InStyle and People, tells Internet Retailer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stylefeeder, which has more than 1 million registered users, features more than 14 million products from such retailers as Macy’s and Target. StyleFeeder uses a shopper’s location, shopping history, as well as filters such as price, brand, product attributes and color, to provide customized search results. The site earns a fee by referring consumers to online retail sites, and Time aims to earn revenue by providing the shopping service on its magazines’ web sites.

“The e-commerce space is really interesting to us,” says Hauser. “If you look at apparel and accessories, that market is a $26 billion market. We feel that shopping is really an extension to what InStyle does. From the consumer perspective it completely makes sense, it’s another service for readers.”

Initially StyleFeeder will enhance InStyle’s existing shopping engine. However, Hauser aims for StyleFeeder to be used throughout InStyle’s web site, as well as those of other Time Inc. brands such as PeopleStyleWatch.com and Essence.com. StyleFeeder will also continue to operate StyleFeeder.com.

The acquisition opens up a new revenue stream for Time Inc. as its advertising revenue growth slows, says Hauser. “It always makes sense to diversify,” she says. “And in looking at the expected growth of e-commerce, it feels right to establish an ownership stake in the market.”

Time Inc.`s network of sites attracts roughly 43 million people and 2 billion page views each month.

Topics:

business, Essence, Mass media, Online shopping, Social shopping

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