Listen to PandoWeekly with Refinery29 co-founders Phillippe von Borries and Justin Stefano
Long live content, and love live commerce, but the two together? Not so much. Content and commerce is dead, for now at least.
That was the message I got from the co-founders of co-CEOs of Refinery29, Phillippe von Borries and Justin Stefano.
Refinery29 started out eight years ago as a fashion blog and has since evolved into a lifestyle site with 11 million monthly uniques and a booming advertising business. Last year the company made a push into commerce, combining its strong editorial voice with the ability to buy an item.
But last week, alongside news that the company had raised $20 million in funding, Refinery29 also announced it was moving away from commerce. The incentives between a shopping site and a content site just don't align, and Refinery29 decided to focus its efforts on what it did best -- monetizing with elaborate branded content and ads. You might call it native advertising even.
We talked about all of that in detail during this week's episode of PandoWeekly. Also discussed: Why investors are so hot on content deals right now, how Refinery29 basically A/B tests its stories, and why the founders are glad they waited many years before raising venture investment.