“I just think large corporations don’t understand the value of holding on to something that may not be making a lot of money but isn’t losing a lot of money. It was something that was special to a lot of people. It had a good life.” – Dany Levy
Launched to 700 of Levy’s personal contacts in March of 2000, DailyCandy’s stats skyrocketed to millions of subscribers in multiple cities within a few years. Briefly highlighting one local find each day, DailyCandy’s email newsletters, in their original format, equaled a quick read with a tight demographic and geographic focus. Readers in Los Angeles might have clicked to get a sneak peek at a new Santa Monica boutique, for example, while Atlanta subscribers could learn of a head-turning new SCAD grad. We in Dallas explored new area jewelry designers or indie gourmet taco shops, and we planned our nights on the town around Thursday’s informative Weekend Guide.
A sale of the site, along with its coveted email lists, landed DailyCandy in the hands of Comcast in 2008 for a cool $120 million. In 2009, Comcast merged with NBC Universal, and DailyCandy’s new management explored expansion into the flash sale and daily deal categories. Neither proved successful.
A couple more years down the road, and Levy was out of the picture altogether. Concurrently, readers began to tire of the new catch-all nature of what once brought targeted content to their fingertips. From a stylish, hyper-local daily read to frequent messages filled with discounted spray tan offers and generic videos, DailyCandy was increasingly becoming just another straight-to-spam inbox annoyance.
Last week, DFW Style Daily’s Leah Frazier reported on the Oversaturation Situation, asking the question, Are Fashion Blogs Becoming Obsolete? A key component of that ongoing conversation is the movement toward commission-based blogging that supports, for the most part, national brands. No longer are fashion blogs an expression of unique, individual style around the world. Rather, so many blogs now tout the same mall staple retailers or “it” designer shoe of the moment.
We return to Ms. Levy’s comment at top for perspective. We believe that her original, hyperlocal focus was the key to DailyCandy’s “special” place in the hearts of its readers. Like a neighbor in-the-know, it was a go-to source for local finds that made us proud of our cities and the artists and trendsetters who called them home.
A brief message at DailyCandy.com echoes the sentiment. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we write today to say goodbye,” reads the farewell statement. “…Through the years, nothing made us happier than helping an emerging designer from West Hollywood find her audience or hearing that after we featured an attorney from Philly she quit her job to make brownies full-time. But all good things must come to an end…”
For our part, despite our frustrations in recent years, we never canceled our subscription to DailyCandy. Its closure will leave a void in our routine, and a rapidly-decreasing number of media outlets that care to cover emerging designers and small local businesses.
Images via DailyCandy.com and Facebook.com.