The model behind combining e-commerce with print media products


“There is pressure on advertising revenue, especially as magazines and other print publications go online. The ad revenue doesn’t match because in the online world, ad revenue is lower than in the print world. “

Krishna Motukuri, CEO of the e-commerce division of Media24

This is according to Krishna Motukuri, CEO of the e-commerce division of Media24 that gave birth to Spree in April this year. Spree is South Africa’s premier online magazine, where the editors-in-chief of Media24’s leading fashion magazines select, style and post their favorite articles on

Motukuri said that combining editorial content with e-commerce is proving to be an attractive revenue-generating platform in media spaces that are seeing their advertising revenue decline.

“A lot of these magazines that we have, like the fashion magazine, if you browse through them you will see these really beautiful clothes that are artfully made into fashion items, and as a reader when you browse through them you say to yourself : want to buy these things, how should I go about it? ‘ And the truth is you have no choice but to put down your magazine, take some notes, and then get in the car and go to the mall and find that product, and if you have the luck, you will find it, ”Motukuri explained in an interview with How we did it in Africa.

“There was always this gap between magazines inspiring customers [to buy products] and customers go and get these products. With e-commerce, it is finally possible to allow customers to just browse magazines and click from the magazine and have their products delivered to their homes. So there is a customer perspective which is a clear need that has not been addressed before [and] can now be addressed. It’s almost like a perfect storm… So Spree is basically tackling a customer problem, allowing them to shop with the magazines they love and at the same time giving magazines that new revenue channel that will be there. future of the online world.

Naspers, Media24’s parent company, owns a logistics company that manages the warehousing and distribution of their media publications and e-commerce initiatives, including Spree.

The future of e-commerce in Africa

Motukuri, who previously ran Amazon India and built numerous e-commerce businesses over the years, said Spree has been doing well in the six months since launch and that they plan to launch other initiatives to e-commerce in the near future, although he could not disclose any further information on this subject at the time of the interview.

He added that Media24 is also open to expanding its e-commerce brands (such as Spree) to the rest of the African continent.

“I worked with Amazon several years ago and I [have spent] 13 years in e-commerce and from this point of view, I can say that Africa is definitely the next frontier for e-commerce, ”Motukuri said. “Just looking at the growing middle class in different countries in Africa – Nigeria, Kenya and here in South Africa – I think there are huge opportunities for e-commerce, especially for Nigeria and the Kenya where I think the infrastructure is not as well developed. like in South Africa. Perhaps the opportunity is even greater.

Motukuri explained that the new technology is generally cheaper to deploy and allows people to move beyond installing and using old technology, such as landline infrastructure, and using newer technology that is more convenient, such as cell phones.

“The same is going to happen with e-commerce,” he continued. “People will ignore all the physical retailer – the big box retail stores – and go straight to e-commerce, because it’s much cheaper to build a centralized inventory model with efficient distribution systems than it is to build stores in. every nook and cranny. So that’s my conviction.

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