Glam Media, a fashion and lifestyle Web site, has a trifecta of news today. It has received $18 million in Series C funding, CNET chairman Jarl Mohn is joining the company as an investor and strategic adviser, and there is a new partnership with Hearst Magazines to bring articles from their popular magazines, starting with Marie Claire, to Glam.com.
The funding was led by Duff Ackerman & Goodrich Ventures (DAG), with participation from existing investors Accel Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, WaldenVC, and Information Capital. The money will be used to accelerate the growth of the network on the Web and expand the sales and editorial teams.
The Hearst/Marie Claire deal is a major move on the part of the fashion magazine industry. Typically high-fashion magazines horde their editorial content for their print versions. Magazine Web sites are a hodgepodge of advertising and blurbs. Bringing real magazine content to the online network is a smart move that is a long time coming. Glam Media reaches over 7 million global unique visitors per month and is a top 10 women’s property, according to comScore Media Metrix October 2006 reports. So why has it taken so long?
“From a business perspective, print magazines are an incredible place. Whereas all other offline mediums have been declining, print magazines have not been declining,” said Samir Arora, chairman and founder of Glam Media. “They’ve been steady at about 17 percent of advertising over the last five years and most of their focus is on print, as opposed to online.”
Arora pointed out that online advertising has not been geared towards women in the same way that offline magazine traditionally is.
“In 2004, under 50 percent of ecommerce was targeted towards women and in real life, that’s not the case, it’s more like 80 percent,” he said. “But when you go online, these magazines’ Web sites have largely been places to drive subscription to the print magazine. So whenever there is a medium change, it’s rare that someone that is dominating one medium also dominates the new medium.”
That’s what Glam wants to do and the notion that women-targeted networks should be more than short workouts and bathing suit ads is the right way to go about it, which this woman thinks makes the company a good investment.