May 21, 2019 - Economy & Business

Scoop: Dotdash to launch commerce line with Amazon

The Spruce

Dotdash, the digital publishing company that grew from, is launching a new millennial paint line with Amazon in an effort to bolster its growing commerce business.

Why it matters: This is the first time that Dotdash, which is expected to bring in roughly $150 million in revenue this year, is selling its own direct-to-consumer products.

Details: The new interior paint line will be called "The Spruce Best Home," and will be created and curated by the editorial team for Dotdash-owned home decor website, The Spruce. 

  • The paint is developed in partnership with MASCO, parent company to Kilz and Behr paints, and will be available exclusively on Amazon.
  • The idea is that The Spruce will use insights and data from its audience of design and home decor enthusiasts to inform the paint line for Amazon.

The big picture: The move is part of Dotdash's effort to transition its business more into e-commerce. The majority of the company's revenue today comes from ads.

  • Other digital publishers, like Buzzfeed, Who What Wear and New York Media, are also experimenting with commerce as the advertising landscape grows more crowded. 
  • Most of those companies are partnering with mass market retailers, like Target, Walmart or Amazon, to debut exclusive product lines.

Yes, but: For Dotdash, this will be more of a branding play than a strict revenue-driver — at least at first.

  • The company has invested in building and acquiring a network of digital brands with authority in specific topics, like health, home decor and travel so it can one day leverage the trust and familiarity of those brands off of its own channels.

Dotdash owns several niche, lifestyle websites, like: Verywell (for health content), The Balance (for personal finance ), Investopedia (for personal investing), The Spruce (for home decor), Lifewire (for tech tips and reviews), TripSavvy (for travel), ThoughtCo. (for lifelong learning), MyDomaine (for home decor) and Byrdie (for beauty).

  • Last week it announced that it is acquiring one of the country's oldest bridal magazines, Brides, from Condé Nast.
  • "We are interested in established brands that provide evergreen, service content. From that perspective, Brides is a perfect fit for us," says DotDash CEO Neil Vogel.

What's next: Vogel says the company has other direct-to-consumer brands in the works, as well as more licensing deals, around some of its other core brands.

Go deeper: "It's all about aligning with algorithms that you like"

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