OMG, I Need Those Shoes! Sugar Acquires StarBrand

Sugar Inc., the company behind PopSugar and a number of other blogs geared towards women, has acquired StarBrand Media. StarBrand provides an online marketplace for a number of major television shows, allowing viewers to purchase the clothes and props they see on TV.

Los Angeles based StarBrand will help expand Sugar’s ShopStyle, an ecommerce site that they acquired last September. StarBrand’s current partners include CBS, Warner Bros., The CW, Showtime, Alcon, and Lionsgate. The company will continue as a standalone property, and will now feature a destination site that combines their ecommerce offerings with Sugar’s editorial and community assets. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

ShopStyle and StarBrand both offer targeted advertising that is much more effective than traditional web ads, leading to CPMs that are 3-5 times higher. In effect, they turn every article of clothing that appears in a magazine or television show into an advertisement, endorsed by whichever celebrity is wearing it. And Sugar’s audience tends to be interested (and sometimes obsessive) about celebrity culture – it’s no surprise that they’re keen on dressing like their favorite idols too.

StarBrands sees competition from a number of sites that profile celebrity outfits: SeenOn has a formed television partnerships and offers a very similar service, while Coolspotters offers a wiki-like community focused on celebrity styles.