MSLO Expands its Weddings Franchise by Taking 40 Percent Stake, Signing Commercial Agreement with Online Wedding Planning Company
NEW YORK, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Martha Stewart Living
Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) today announced a series of transactions with
WeddingWire (www.weddingwire.com), a localized wedding platform that combines
an online marketplace with planning tools and a social community. The deal is
part of MSLO's strategy to accelerate its digital footprint and expand its
Weddings franchise online and in print. It includes the acquisition of
approximately 40 percent of the equity in WeddingWire and a commercial
agreement related to software and content licensing and media sales.
WeddingWire was created by a team of entrepreneurs, including two founding
members of Blackboard Inc., to provide engaged couples with comprehensive
vendor search and easy-to-use online planning and community tools. The
platform's SmartMatch(TM) technology allows brides and grooms to find,
research, and receive quick price quotes from vendors in their area, saving
couples time, energy and money. WeddingWire offers a range of additional
applications, including tools for creating a wedding website, managing
budgets, guest lists, and seating charts. It also features social networking
and user-generated content tools to help couples make better, more informed
"Today's couples devote a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources
to creating their perfect day. The level of intensity they bring to the
process presents a highly attractive opportunity for both MSLO and our
Weddings franchise," said Susan Lyne, President and Chief Executive Officer of
MSLO. "With this investment, brides who rely on our content for wedding-
related inspiration and ideas will be able to plan, manage and share every
step of the process. The WeddingWire team has created a seamless experience
for engaged couples and a great platform for marketers that will significantly
strengthen our position in this space."
As part of the investment agreement, MSLO and WeddingWire signed a
commercial agreement through which WeddingWire will offer its proprietary
tools on the Weddings section of marthastewart.com, allowing users ready
access to a vast network of local vendors and online wedding-planning tools.
MSLO may also integrate similar tools using WeddingWire's technology across
its other content verticals. WeddingWire's main web property,
www.weddingwire.com, will receive Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia content,
which will include integrated links to drive traffic to marthastewart.com. In
addition, WeddingWire has designated MSLO as its exclusive national
advertising sales force for the duration of the agreement, and the two
companies will share the advertising revenues sold on the site.
"By investing in WeddingWire, we are assembling a robust online offering
with a proven toolset to enhance our digital Weddings content and complement
what is already the category's premier print magazine," said Wenda Harris
Millard, President, Media, MSLO. "We are impressed by WeddingWire's superior
online platform and see great opportunities to leverage its expertise across
our Internet sites and bring similar tools and features to our other lifestyle
content verticals. This is also a tremendous opportunity for our advertisers
to reach couples engaged in the process of planning their wedding."
"This is an ideal partnership that will bring real value to engaged
couples and wedding vendors alike. MSLO's commitment to excellence in the
weddings category, when paired with our suite of innovative wedding planning
tools, creates an unrivaled offering for engaged couples everywhere," said
Timothy Chi, Chief Executive Officer of WeddingWire. "MSLO's breadth and reach
will also greatly benefit our fast-growing community of local wedding vendors
by expanding the distribution network that WeddingWire currently provides."
MSLO led this Series A investment round, which includes existing
WeddingWire investors. The funding from the round will be used to develop new
technologies and increase reach nationwide. As part of MSLO's investment, Ms.
Millard and MSLO CIO Mike Plonski will join WeddingWire's board of directors.
About Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE: MSO) is a diversified media
and merchandising company, inspiring and engaging consumers with unique
content and distinctive products. The Publishing segment encompasses four
magazines, including the company's flagship publication, Martha Stewart
Living, periodic special issues and books. The marthastewart.com website
provides consumers with instant access to MSLO's multimedia library, search
and find capabilities, and more. The Broadcasting division produces the Emmy-
winning daily, national syndicated program, "The Martha Stewart Show,"
"Everyday Food," "Everyday Baking from Everyday Food" and Martha Stewart
Living Radio, channel 112 on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. In addition to its media
properties, MSLO offers beautiful, practical and superior quality Martha
Stewart products through licensing agreements with carefully selected
companies. For additional information, visit www.marthastewart.com.
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire is the only online wedding planning resource designed to
empower both engaged couples and wedding vendors. WeddingWire enables engaged
couples to search, compare and book over 30,000 wedding vendors nationwide.
WeddingWire also offers an online community and a suite of cutting-edge
planning tools, including wedding websites, all at no charge. For wedding
vendors, WeddingWire provides free online management tools creating the only
market opportunity that gives businesses control over their clients, reviews,
leads and performance. For additional information, please visit
SOURCE Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
CONTACT: Elizabeth Estroff, SVP, Corporate Communications,
1-212-827-8281, email@example.com /
Web site: http://www.marthastewart.com