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Expert ecommerce advice for building a DTC brand: The Media Roundup

Ecommerce myths: Building a DTC brand is tougher than it seems

How publishers are making ecommerce work is something we’ve discussed a fair bit over the past few years on the podcast. Since Covid forced (almost) everyone into online shopping, media owners who were already in the space have been reaping massive rewards. Others have started looking at ecommerce as something they could potentially benefit from.

Whichever camp you fall into, this is an essential read from ex-Hearst President Troy Young. In fact, it’s fascinating even if you have no intention of going into ecommerce at all. He’s spoken to Haris Memon, a DTC ecommerce expert about the biggest myths, what the formula is to make ecommerce work, and sourcing and scaling challenges.

He also draws out some advice for media companies looking to diversify into ecommerce: “1) go all-in on affiliate and stop trying to figure out your own products and in-house DTC, because you’re never going to be great at it; 2) get really creative with affiliate… figure out how you can leverage the power of your brand and editorial to capture more traffic than just your organic audience.”

How The Washington Post is trying to reach the next generation

The job of WaPo’s Next Generation initiative is to not only figure out how to reach new audiences now, but in the future when there could be platforms that haven’t even been invented yet. Reaching out to younger audiences (the under 45’s apparently) will be especially important given the publisher is struggling with a subscriber contraction and traffic declines.

What can journalist-influencers bring to newsrooms and what do they expect in return

A brilliant perspective from a research report by Salla-Rosa Leinonen, a producer working for the Finnish Public Broadcaster Yle. It looks at journalist-influencers and how newsrooms can nurture relationships with these types of employees. Refreshingly, there are lots of examples from non-US organisations and influencers.

Recurrent Media CEO Lance Johnson on acquiring and growing content businesses

On this week’s episode we hear from Lance Johnson, CEO of Recurrent Media. You might not have heard of them (yet), but you will have heard of some of their 25 brands – Donut, Domino, Saveur, Popular Science, and most recently, MEL magazine. He tells us about the group’s acquisition strategy, how they’re different from the usual VC companies we encounter, and what you need to do to get bought by Recurrent.


This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: