Discovery Communications Signs Delivery Agent for Comprehensive E-Commerce Services
(Silver Spring, Md.) Discovery Communications, the world’s number one nonfiction media company, announced today a multi-year deal to outsource its entire interactive commerce business to Delivery Agent, Inc., the leader in shopping-enabled entertainment. The agreement represents a shift in Discovery’s Commerce strategy from an internal operation to a lower risk, royalty-based model.
“Transitioning to a royalty model provides opportunity for increased profitability while significantly reducing the financial risk of holding large product inventory,” said Kelly Day, Chief Operating Officer, Discovery Commerce. “Discovery’s brand strength and legacy of creating award-winning consumer products, paired with Delivery Agent’s track record of building winning commerce solutions for the entertainment industry, makes this an ideal go-forward strategy for achieving our growth goals for Commerce.”
In exchange for royalties, Delivery Agent will handle all of Discovery’s direct-to-consumer operations, including hosting and managing the DiscoveryStore.com website, customer service, merchandising, marketing, product development and fulfillment. Launched in 2001, DiscoveryStore.com draws an average of 12 million consumers each year and features products such as fan gear for Discovery’s popular series; award-winning children’s toys; and the best of Discovery’s nonfiction specials and series on DVD.
Delivery Agent also will launch shopping websites for TLC and Animal Planet later this year. TLCStore.com and AnimalPlanetStore.com will feature home video from its most popular programming and a wider variety of show-based items.
The launch of the royalty model represents a significant milestone in Discovery Communications’ strategic realignment of its Commerce business. To excel in a dramatically changing commerce environment, since 2007 the company has executed on a plan to reduce risk and costs, streamline operations and increase profitability for its Commerce division. Since that time the company has closed its 103 Discovery Channel Store retail locations in the U.S.; refocused efforts on online commerce; expanded its product lines sold through mass-market retailers; and outsourced its retail licensing business.
“Discovery Communications has a strong history of developing superior products that leverage the affinity and loyalty consumers have for its programs and brands,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, Delivery Agent’s CEO. “We look forward to taking Discovery’s Commerce business to a new level by applying our expertise in shopping-enabled entertainment.”
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