Why Publishers Are Taking Their Brands Offline With New Product Licensing Deals

It's no marketing play

BuzzFeed's Tasty is selling 100 products in Walmart, which has committed to selling the line through 2019. Walmart

What’s old is new again, and again. Today’s digital darlings, from BuzzFeed and PopSugar to Who What Wear, are trying to grab people’s attention (and dollars) online—and offline by striking licensing partnerships with retailers. A smart cooktop from BuzzFeed’s Tasty to a PopSugar-branded blouse are not unlike the Sports Illustrated football phone of yesteryear. The endgame remains the same as well: to diversify revenue streams, help the bottom line and extend its brand recognition.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@itstheannmarie annmarie.alcantara@adweek.com Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.
@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.