Recurrent Ventures, a private equity-backed digital media company, has bought respected wine writer and critic Jancis Robinson’s website for an undisclosed amount.
Digiday first reported the buy-out today and Robinson has also confirmed the news on twitter.
Replying to the news on twitter, the British wine writer 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!!!”
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!!! https://t.co/ld9jE0WeDH— Jancis Robinson (@JancisRobinson) August 31, 2021
The acquisition of JancisRobinson.com, a subscription-based wine website, created and owned by Robinson, is expected to boost Recurrent Ventures’ subscription business.
“Subscription, in time, I think will be one of our largest revenue streams, even if we’re just beginning,” Recurrent Ventures CEO Lance Johnson told Digiday. “[Robinson] is something we can build around.”
Robinson’s website has no advertising and revenue comes from subscription which starts from £8.50 a month. The site already has subscribers in 82 different countries, but less than 30% of her site’s audience and membership is based in the U.S.
With the acquisition, Recurrent Ventures said they plan to grow Jancis Robinson website’s subscriber base in the US, which still counts as the world’s biggest wine consumer.
It has set a near-term goal of making U.S. subscribers half of its total subscribers, while growing Robinson’s digital audience as a whole and improving its SEO.
Recurrent Ventures owns brands ranging from Popular Science, Domino, to Outdoor Life, The Drive, Field & Stream, and Saveur. The latter, an online food and wine magazine, will also play a role in developing the new JancisRobinson.com website such as getting Robinson’s site to make wine pairing recommendations for the thousands of recipes Saveur has on its site, according to Digiday.
Founded in 2000 by award-winning wine critic and writer Jancis Robinson, her eponymous website won Wine Website of the Year in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards in 2010.
This is a major sale after another wine critic Robert Parker sold his controlling stake in Wine Advocate to Asian investors in 2012.
Later restaurant guide Michelin acquired a 40% stake in the business in 2017, and in 2019 it bought Wine Advocate’s full ownership.