Salon spoke to Davis about how he’s built his rapidly expanding geek empire.
Growing up in Southern California, you dreamed of becoming the next Bob Iger, the head of Disney. What kept you away from pursuing a career as a media and entertainment mogul?
My passion around starting new ventures and disrupting old business models has led me to more entrepreneurial ventures – Loot Crate – instead of trying to rise through the ranks of larger, more established media businesses like Disney. Also, we believe Loot Crate is a media and entertainment business in many ways. Commerce is only the first way we will touch consumers and specifically fans. In the long run, it’s about fan experiences, which will include content and deeper fan engagement.
Loot Crate’s growth has been astounding. Was there a moment you realized the potential in your niche subscription-box services?
Subscription-box services have essentially just taken a page out of the larger subscription-membership business model, which has proven to be a great approach in many industries. Internally, we think about our membership model more like Amazon Prime, Spotify and Netflix and less like a traditional subscription-box service. Once you have a product that people connect with, the economics and business model behind a subscription business really works better than a traditional e-commerce model.
This model makes sense for your target demographic. People, I imagine, have shelves filled with collectible items. Was that part of your thinking?
Definitely. Hard-core fans have always collected gear from the shows and games they love most. However, we have seen that Loot Crate also attracts the casual fan, who is less about collecting and more about wanting to get cool products from their favorite brands, or simply wants to connect to a larger community of like-minded fans. For example, there are 10 to 15 million people who watch “Game of Thrones” each week. Not all of them are deeply entrenched in collecting millions of figurines, but most of them would love to get access to exclusive, special content and products.
Read the rest of this conversation here.