Founded in 2007 in Los Angeles by Emrah Kovacoglu (pictured) and featuring a New York office, the Total Beauty Network attracts 3.5 million monthly unique visitors and also includes beautyriot.com, which allows users to engage in a wide variety of virtual makeovers. All properties are being migrated into Evolve’s TotallyHer Beauty and Style side, alongside existing site The Fashion Spot, while Total Beauty Network’s staff of 22 have already begun the process of transitioning to Evolve’s LA and New York offices. And on the acquisitions front, Evolve is far from done.
“We have two other acquisitions that are in active negotiation right now,” Evolve Media president and co-founder Brian Fitzgerald tells FishbowlNY via telephone, “and I’d say there are three others that I can think of, off the top of my head, that we are in active consideration on.”
“The bigger story here I think is that independent publishing has gotten extremely difficult,” he continues. “In this evolving marketplace, scale has really become a paramount factor. A lot of content businesses were funded by VC firms with an eye towards truly being able to stand alone, and they just can’t. So we recognize a fantastic buy-side opportunity that exists right now. Most independent publishing companies just don’t have the requisite infrastructure to play in today’s sponsorship and programmatic marketplace.”
Fitzgterald (pictured, left) says Evolve did not take a serious look at Livingly Media, the umbrella group for Zimbio, StyleBistro and Lonny that was sold to auFeminin. Mainly because he sees the content business moving away from business models that are heavily reliant on SEO and social traffic.
Less than a quarter of Evolve Media’s traffic comes from social networks, with Facebook and Pinterest being the main drivers within that frame. It’s a relatively low percentage when compared to many of the large Internet content publishers.
“On average, across the entire portfolio, we have 36% direct navigational traffic,” Fitzgerald says. “That means 36% of people coming to our site are putting in the URL directly into their browser. Another five to nine percent are putting the URL or site name in a search engine. When you add that together, you’re looking at 45% brand equity. For me, that’s the only kind of content that has longevity.”
[Photos courtesy: Evolve Media]