During its grinding transition into the digital era, the publishing industry has been grasping at straws to find ways to evolve its revenue models. Even as time marches on, publishing companies by and large, continue to struggle with how to most effectively monetize their content and add supplementary (or even primary) revenue streams. JungleCents, the Mark Cuban-backed startup, is ushering men’s lifestyle magazine AskMen into the daily deals space in an attempt to help the publication take advantage of supplemental revenue streams — all thanks to vouchers.
As TC’s Alexia Tsotsis wrote back in October, a la Commission Junction, JungleCents is aiming to attack customer acquisition by accepting vouchers from companies in place of cash and running those deals on its site as well as affiliate sites — in a limited quantity for a limited time.
In the case of AskMen, JungleCents is offering a discount on men’s merchandise from Bonobos, which is offered on JungleCents but also posted to AskMen.com. With the Bonobos deal, customers pay $48 for a $100 voucher to spend at Bonobos.com, with the deal essentially acting like a gift card, as the user doesn’t have to spend the $100 voucher all at once.
Sure, AskMen isn’t exactly the New York Times, but daily deals can potentially allow content sites like AskMen to monetize in a more measurable approach, while adding more value to their readers, says JungleCents Co-founder and CEO Sameer Mehta. Sites like JungleCents can really be a boon for niche publishing sites, because they can serve more targeted deals that are relevant to a site’s readers. For example, if a reader is at AskMen, a men’s lifestyle publication and is served a deal for cheap jeans, the reader is more likely to click over than, say, someone perusing the news on the New York Times.
Those deals at the bottom of the post may even go so far as to add value to the content (gasp!), and give publishers a trigger to monetize. JungleCents has been testing this theory out with Complex, in which they offered readers 50 percent off Nooka watches. The deal netted Complex a 9 percent conversion rate, and the success gave JungleCents the motivation to begin pursuing other mid-sized niche publications.
Mehta says that he thinks this model is not only a benefit to publishers, but offers an upside to brands as well, as they are getting access to their target demographic. It also brings their customer acquisition costs down, because these customers (based on how they’re finding the deals) are not bargain-hungry coupon clippers, they’re the people more likely to be brand ambassadors. So, for brands that aren’t interested in Gilt or Groupon, the AskMen-Bonobos model seems a better fit.
As to how redeeming these vouchers works? After a consumer purchases a deal on JungleCents, they get an email with a unique redemption code, which they then use to check out and the brand’s web store. Mehta says that he thinks that this allows brands to own their new customer, unlike flash sales that run off last season’s product, where the consumer has no contact with the brand.
It’s an interesting model. Check it out and let us know what you think. See the deal here.