What you need to know
TNL Media Group officially announces their acquisition of the leading food and recipe lifestyle media iCook. Besides increased readership scale and new products that can be offered to readers, this acquisition symbolizes a crucial next step to rapidly expand the group’s existing paid subscription business and enter e-commerce services.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (September 13, 2022) — TNL Media Group, an independent Taiwan-based multi-language media and data platform, officially announces their acquisition of the leading food and recipe lifestyle media outlet iCook. Besides increased readership scale and new products that can be offered to readers, this acquisition symbolizes a crucial next step to rapidly expand the group’s existing paid subscription business and entry into e-commerce services.
With seven million Monthly Unique Visitors (MUV) readers, this integration will bring TNL group’s total reader scale close to 25 million MUV and close to 100 million monthly page views. iCook also has one of the largest App downloads among media brands, with over six million as well as one of the largest base of paid subscribers of close to 15,000. Combined with the recent launch of existing TNL group paid content and subscription business like TNL+ and INSIDE paid content, TNL will now have one of the largest paid subscription bases within the region. The group intends to start fully integrating the paid membership and subscription business.
Furthermore, iCook also operates one of the largest food lifestyle e-commerce sites with a highly loyal clientele. Due to the recent years pandemic situation, their GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) has grown 40% annually. TNL group also intends to use iCook’s experiences to integrate their current e-commerce services to other suitable media brands within the group while still strictly adhering to the original founding principles of independent media with no political or corporate bias and clean separation between editorial content and advertising.
TNL intends to connect this new addition of app, membership and e-commerce transaction data to the group’s other existing digital products and services. This will greatly enhance the group’s data analytic capabilities, unify data across all media brands and also connect with the data sources from the group’s mobile ad tech company Ad2iction, their big data market research firm TNL Research, and their AI CDP and data exchange company DaEX to provide more accurate digital services to their readers and clients.
Joey Chung, TNL’s CEO and Co-founder, said that the joining of iCook symbolizes one of the group’s key missing pieces falling into place. “Over the past few years we have been actively looking for the right content partner to provide strong and high quality content for female readers. With 80% of their readership female and the key decision makers within the family, we are extremely excited to provide this new content product to our users. This also allows us to complete our remaining missing pieces of our first-party data analytics and digital services puzzle: e-commerce services and transaction data, while transforming the group to now having a large paid subscriber businesses.”
Mario Yang, TNL Group’s Chief Content Officer and Co-founder says: “iCook founders Fox and Richard and their team have created a very strong brand with a highly loyal readership base as well as a very successful content and services business that can perfectly compliment with existing TNL brands. In return, TNL looks forward to helping iCook’s direct media sales, social media expansion, launching new video and audio products as well as giving more international exposure. We have personally known Fox and Richard for many years and look forward to welcoming iCook as the ninth media brand within TNL Group.”
Fox Hsiao, iCook’s Co-founder and CEO: Our first startup “INSIDE” was also acquired by TNL Group about 4 years ago, so we are quite familiar with both Joey and Mario. In the past 4 years, we all witnessed the great synergy that helps “INSIDE” became a stronger and more profitable brand. As the industry is moving from Web 2.0 to Web3, I believe it will be the next trend for startups in Taiwan to work together. By joining TNL Group, it will create more opportunities not only for iCook but also various aspects in TNL Group. iCook has launched for 11 years, and we’re excited and looking forward to exploring the whole new and uncharted territories for the next decade.
With the addition of iCook, these new content and services will in turn be future key revenue drivers and allow independent media and its editorial team to continue to grow its positive influence without interference, while also allowing new data-related products and services to be optimized. From content to martech, along with agency services, in-house AI powered CDP engine, and now finishing the customer journey by connecting transaction data and ecommerce services, the group can now integrate most of these tech and data services and create automated and valuable products and services for different readers, brands or marketers.
TNL Media Group now has a staff of close to 300 and plans to continue expanding its readership size, international presence, strategic data partnerships and new technological capabilities. Its existing media brands now include The News Lens, INSIDE, Sports Vision, Cool3c, every little d, Agent Movie, OHSOWOW, and Business Yee.
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With more than 250000 recipes, 3 million registered members, and 7 million monthly unique active users, iCook is the largest recipe-sharing social platform in Taiwan and Hong Kong. One out of every three females in Taiwan uses iCook. Beyond recipes, the platform also provides content about food, cooking, life tips, and general health/living knowledge in several formats, such as blog posts, videos, and other rich experiences. Operated by software development company Polydice, Inc., iCook has strong technical expertise to help advertisers enhance brand value by finding the best-targeted audiences.
About TNL Media Group
TNL Group is one of the fastest-growing digital advertising, data analytics, and media platforms for the Asian market.
TNL was launched in Mandarin, English, and Japanese editions to provide inclusive, in-depth, diverse, and highly influential content for digital readers.
It has since expanded and acquired a mobile ad network, big data research company, and launched a data analytics platform. As a result, the group can effectively grasp user information through zero-party, first-party, third-party databases, AI analysis, Martech, and other cross-domain core products.
TNL serves the public with news and informed commentary, empowers brands with data, and connects with technology, becoming an essential partner for the digital transformation needs of enterprises.
TNL Group consists of nine content brands and eleven subsidiaries, with over 290 staff members in Taipei, Hong Kong, and Japan. TNL Media Group’s existing high-profile investors include North Base Media, an original seed investor in The News Lens, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, and famed Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper.
For more information, please visit the Group's website