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Posted: Tuesday, 31 August 2021 18:49

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Jancis Robinson sells her website to US Digital Media Company

Aug 31: The well-known wine critic and much-awarded wine writer Jancis Robinson MW has sold her company JancisRobinson.com to Recurrent Ventures, a U.S.-based Private Equity digital media company for an undisclosed amount, with no change in the staff strength foreseen and helping her to focus more on wine tasting and writing, writes Subhash Arora

After a couple years of buying mainly ad-supported digital media businesses since 2018, the U.S based digital media company Recurrent Ventures has acquired the subscription-based Portal JacisRobinson.com with the goal of providing a foundation for subscriber revenues. Although the number of subscribers have not been disclosed either by Jancis Robinson or Recurrent. The $12 a month subscription website has no advertisements and currently has less than 30% of its subscribers in the US. It has subscribers in 82 countries, including India.

Digiday had first reported today the sale which was also confirmed by Jancis on her twitter handle which says “I can assure you that we will all (4 full timers and 13 more part timers, including 7 MWs) remain in place and I will have more time to do what I love: tasting and writing about wine. No more admin!!! Much better tech!!!”

The six-time James Beard Award winner who is also the wine columnist for the UK-based Financial Times, is highly regarded in the UK as a wine critic, though she is best known for compiling her Magnum Opus, Oxford Companion to Wines, which was first released in 1994 and currently the 4th edition is in the market. It has won every major wine book award.

Also Read : Parker Poised to Peter Out of Wine Advocate

In addition to the normal subscription, the website JancisRobinson.com also offers a professional tier, which gives subscribers limited commercial re-use of the site’s reviews and resources; and costs $250 per year. Jancis says that around 20% of her subscriber base is professional, though only around half of them pay the professional price! 

It has set a near-term goal of making U.S. subscribers half of its subscriber base, while growing Robinson’s digital audience too. Some basic digital marketing will play a role as well. Since she first launched her site in 2000, Robinson has never spent any money on paid marketing. Instead, her customer acquisition efforts have been confined to in-person events, as well as word of mouth. 

This is a major sale after another wine critic Robert Parker sold his controlling stake in Wine Advocate to Asian investors in 2012. Later, the restaurant guide publisher Michelin acquired a 40% stake in the business in 2017, and full ownership in 2019.

Founded in 2000 by award-winning wine critic and writer Jancis Robinson, her website won Wine Website of the Year in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards in 2010 and she had never looked back

Subhash Arora

 

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