A Note From the CEO: Managing the Transition to the Open Network

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By now most brands and retailers know that for the last six years, PowerReviews and Bazaarvoice have “cross-syndicated” brand content to our respective retailers. Bazaarvoice was compelled to do so after a court determined they had
violated the law and acted anti-competitively when they acquired and were subsequently forced to divest PowerReviews nearly four years ago.

As of July 3, 2018, the cross-network syndication agreement started a one-year, wind-down period to ensure a smooth transition to an open network where brands are able to syndicate directly to retailers without paying access fees. As previously announced, PowerReviews will continue accepting and sharing review content from brands using Bazaarvoice during the wind-down period. Unfortunately, Bazaarvoice, over the objection of their retail clients, stopped accepting content from new brands using PowerReviews on July 1, 2018, and recently stated they stopped accepting new content from existing brands as of September 30 unless brands signed an agreement to pay them access fees. We have recently seen evidence of Bazaarvoice attempting to charge brands double or triple the total fees that brands pay to use the PowerReviews platform and participate in the PowerReviews Open Network.

Fortunately, PowerReviews is offering brands and retailers an open alternative that is both technology agnostic and free of access fees. The PowerReviews Open Network is open to brands and retailers regardless of their review platform and it does not impose access fees. In addition to the 150+ retailers using the PowerReviews platform, 30 of the world’s largest retailers using other platforms have agreed to participate and accept brand content directly from PowerReviews. Retailers participating in the PowerReviews Open Network account for more than $1 trillion in total sales, $70 billion in online sales, reaches billions of shoppers and includes content from 1,000+ leading brands.

Despite having agreements in place with retailers, Bazaarvoice is telling the market that they control what content appears on their retailers’ sites. This is simply false. The retailers decide what content appears on their site, not Bazaarvoice nor any third party.

PowerReviews has a no cost, simple solution to ensure continued syndication for brands and retailers

PowerReviews has created pre-matched, pre-moderated files for nearly every major retailer using Bazaarvoice. Those files will continue to be updated on a daily basis with new review content from brands at no cost. There is no technical limitation to ingesting these files. PowerReviews has been sharing files with Bazaarvoice via direct feeds to syndicate review content for the last seven years. We can accept these files. So can Bazaarvoice. This is why review syndication between Jet and Bazaarvoice’s largest retail customer remains uninterrupted between Bazaarvoice and PowerReviews. Should Bazaarvoice not accept these files, PowerReviews will continue to work with retailers to provide them several options to accept brand content directly at no cost.

PowerReviews has industry leading moderation and authenticity standards. Those standards have been approved by the largest brands and retailers in the world, and have been accepted by Bazaarvoice for the last 7 years. These standards will continue.

More Benefits of The PowerReviews Open Network

As many of you know, last year PowerReviews received overwhelming industry support for an open syndication network. Brands and retailers were clear and unanimous in their desire for an affordable and accessible review syndication network. The PowerReviews Open Network was built to provide faster setup times, better product matching capabilities and new content types for syndication such as Q&A, images and video, all with no access fees for brands.

With this open and innovative approach, the largest retailers in the world signed direct agreements with PowerReviews. Today, the PowerReviews Open Network impacts more than $1 trillion in total sales and has 1,000+ leading brands participating including GlaxoSmithKline, The North Face, Ugg and World Kitchen and more. More than 25% of the top 100 CPG companies in the world use PowerReviews.

We are actively working through this transition with retailers on the Bazaarvoice platform, and we will continue to make content available.  

Thank you,

Matt Moog

CEO Matt Moog has more than 20 years of experience scaling technology companies, both public and private. He has launched several successful startups, hired hundreds of employees and raised over $200 million in outside investment. Matt is passionate about entrepreneurism and the transformative role that technology can play in our lives, especially when it allows people to share their experiences and brings transparency and accountability to all facets of life.