iD doubles revenue after expanding commerce and social content

Global youth and style publisher iD, which Vice Media acquired a decade ago in December, has seen a substantial increase in revenue after placing greater emphasis on social and business content.

The publisher grew its eight-figure revenue by 100% year-over-year, according to chief revenue officer Geoff Schiller, who wouldn’t share exact numbers. His business, which generates revenue through affiliate links, merchandise sales and print magazines, also grew by a double-digit percentage.

The publisher generates around 90% of its revenue from advertising, which includes sponsorships on its website, social media and newsletters.

But it has focused on growing its business division, as iD appeals to an audience of young, affluent consumers – a coveted readership for luxury brands looking to age their customer base.

To do this, the publisher has reduced the amount of plain text content it produces, changing its editorial mix to include more business content and vertical video.

“The mandate has been to go deeper into social-first than text, and iD has made a significant investment in Instagram and TikTok,” Schiller said. “It’s not throwing darts at the wall: if Gen Z wants to consume content on social media, we need to maximize our presence there.”

The approach mirrors how social media-focused publishers have adjusted their distribution strategies to prioritize vertical video. And by guiding subscribers to the iD website, where it hopes to convert them into buyers, the tactic underscores the importance of commerce for publishers as a way to diversify their revenue streams.

Building a brand at the intersection of content and commerce

iD, like other Vice Media brands, has always sought to connect with readers where they prefer to consume content, typically social platforms or video havens like YouTube.

As its audience shifted to sites offering vertical video, iD followed suit, said Lucy Delacherois-Day, its chief executive. In September, the publisher redesigned its website to integrate video directly into its domain.

“We doubled down on our efforts to leverage social media for content and commerce in 2022 and will continue to leverage this growth and potential through 2023,” Delacherois-Day said.

Year-over-year, the strategy worked, reporting iD a 150% increase in followers on Instagram Reels and 50% growth in followers on TikTok.

By taking advantage of the renewed interest in vertical video, the publisher hopes to capture the attention of viewers on both platforms and redirect them to its website, where it can convert them into buyers.

Compared to the same period last year, iD increased its monthly page views by 85%, according to the publisher. And since affiliate business is, to some extent, a numbers game, an increase in traffic will almost always lead to an increase in transactions.

Once there, readers tend to turn to shopping content that conveys the iD ethos, such as a roundup of independent designers from the spring-summer 2023 season or its weekly GUi-DEs, according to Delacherois. -Day.

Collaborations and activations aim to grow audience in the US

To draw more attention to its business offerings, iD plans to experiment with more merchandise collaborations, which will allow the publisher to reach new audiences and trade on its fashion pedigree.

Last year’s partnerships with celebrities like Rihanna, Travis Scott and Billie Eilish have been gratifying for the publisher, although it doesn’t share the specific results of the campaigns.

On December 6, in partnership with a digital retailer, the publisher will unveil a docuseries podcast called Identity, which will follow the evolution of the style. It also has an Art Basel activation planned with designer Marc Jacobs and a Fashion Month activation in preparation for next September, according to Schiller.

The collaborations, in addition to being a revenue opportunity, also aim to increase awareness of the iD brand in the United States, where 50% of its audience lives. The publisher hopes that by expanding its presence in North America, it will increase its commercial ceiling.

“iD has been the best-kept secret in the United States because it’s a global brand, but we don’t want to be a secret anymore,” Schiller said. “We are looking to make a splash next year.”

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