When digital publishing platform Glossi launched its public beta last December, it hadn’t quite addressed one of the big questions that revolves around any “future of media”-type platform — how publishers are going to make money. Now the company has made its first move towards publisher monetization through a partnership with affiliate network rewardStyle.
Through the integration, rewardStyle members who create a Glossi (that’s the name for both the publishing platform and for magazines created on it) should be able to access RewardStyle’s directory of products, then drag-and-drop them into their content. Those products will then function as affiliate links, with the publisher paid a commission for the purchases that they drive. Non-rewardStyle members using Glossi can also access the product directory, but without the monetization angle, I’m guessing it’s not quite as appealing.
Glossi founder and CEO Matt Edelman noted that, technically, publishers could already include any links they wanted in their Glossies, so there was nothing stopping them from including affiliate links before — there just wasn’t any real support or integration from the company.
“If the Glossi creator had their own affiliate links, they could try to use them, but we made no assertions that the link would track correctly or display the image or metadata for the product correctly,” he told me via email. “We also did not offer a way for a Glossi creator to display in the Glossi-viewing experience that a product image was actually shoppable, which now will occur when a viewer rolls over a shoppable product image while looking at a Glossi.”
Publishers who have already used rewardStyle to add shoppable content to their Glossies include OliviaPalermo.com. In fact, you check out this “summer trend guide” from Olivia Palermo, where the featured items include “buy now” links courtesy of rewardStyle.
Madison Dyal, rewardStyle’s vice president of sales, marketing, and corporate development, said that when the company first got to know the Glossi team and tried out the product last year, “We were pretty wowed.”
She added: “Our philosophy with partnerships is we want to work with third-party apps that our publishers are going to use no matter what. Glossi is a perfect example of that. … We do see this as a very new way for publishers to publish content, and we’re excited to see how they use it.”
Last week, the company announced new features, including the ability to run Glossi contests, and it said it will soon offer a premium product allowing users to offer paid subscriptions and run advertising.