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Subscription ecommerce companies are media companies. This is the parallel I see between the two.

Magazines Subscription Ecommerce
Aggregate Audiences by: writing content and curating products for a target demographic
Serve advertisers by: allowing vendors to reach a target demographic with promotions for products
Entice consumers to: pay a subscription for access to product/content curation
Core logistical competency of the business: manage printing logistics manage product shipping logistics

I think the industry will shake out the same way: consolidation of subscription sites will follow the massive growth of the sector. A new Conde Nast (or a reinvented Hearst) will emerge in the next five years by rolling up many subscription ecommerce companies targeting different demographics.

Interestingly enough, churn rates for both industries are about the same – 15% annual churn for the best in class: The New Yorker.

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2 thoughts on “Subscription ecommerce companies are media companies

  1. Tom, to clarify, is your definition of “subscription e-commerce” limited to e-commerce enterprises charging monthly subscriptions (Birchbox, Manpacks, etc) or any e-commerce brand with a large base of subscribers to their blog/email updates (Bonobos, Warby Parker, etc)?

    I think Thrillist’s acquisition of JackThreads is a prime example of what youre talking about …

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