The Seattle-based software/media hybrid startup hosts linked pictures from a mix of wedding bloggers, an editorial team and everyday consumers and packages it into a Pinterest-like interface. The result is easy-to-consume content that helps brides find inspiration for the big day.
Much of that content comes via large vendors like Wedding Paper Divas and Allure Bridals, along with more than 40,000 local wedding vendors. Those companies post hyperlinked high-res images that lead back to a point of purchase or booking. The model is similar to Houzz, but for wedding planning instead of home remodeling.
Building out a native tablet app was the obvious next step for OneWed. The tablet combines the visual intimacy of a magazine — large, professional pictures — with the digital experience of the web. CEO John Scrofano said that “we think of ourselves as a tablet-oriented company,” and so far, the results speak for themselves.
“We’re already seeing 30 minute-plus session times, multiple opens from most downloaders and over 85 pageviews per session,” Scrofano said of the tablet app, which debuted earlier this month. “This is killer engagement so far.”
One of the more compelling aspects of this idea is with the advertising model. In the past, advertisers could either pay for a print ad or slice their images into a 300-by-250 banner ad.
Now, though, a platform like OneWed allows what’s called “native advertising,” which is essentially advertising that does not interrupt flow and is equal with user interaction.
“It’s kind of magical in the bridal world,” Scrofano said of the advertising component.
While vendors can post for free, they can also improve their visibility by upgrading to paid OneWed listings and choosing from different subscription levels like platinum or silver. The model is essentially like Google’s — pay more money to get your listing higher up in the results.
OneWed is growing quickly after just two years on the scene. It’s now a top ten wedding planning site and has grown to be 70 percent of the size of MarthaStewartWeddings.com.
You have to wonder if this model — particularly the advertising aspect — will be replicated for other projects. After all, native advertising online spending is expected to increase by 12.6 percent in 2013.
Previously on GeekWire: Startup Spotlight: Adorii unwraps a daily deal site for those about to tie the knot