At-home shopping shows still make a lot of money ( www.vox.com )

Jill Martin of “Steals & Deals” reportedly made NBC $60 million last year.

QVC lifestyle influencer Jill Martin reportedly brought in $60 million in e-commerce revenue for the Today show last year, all from her “Steals & Deals” segment, which presents a bunch of … steals and deals to 3 million people every day, as reported by Fast Company on Thursday.

Morning show ratings are on a steady decline, but the Today show website supposedly sold more than 2 million products during the holiday shopping season, totaling over $12 million in sales during the week after Thanksgiving alone, all because of Martin, a woman who launched her career by cold-calling brands from her apartment and asking them for steals and deals. The Fast Company report also says that one “Steals & Deals” segment, which spent five minutes running through previous best-sellers, resulted in $5 million in sales in a single day.

“People want to buy something from someone they trust. I have established that trust with the viewer,” Martin told Fast Company, which may sound vague and unprovable, except that NBC’s in-house analytics show that sales on its e-commerce platform go up whenever a product is associated with an image of her face.

All this in the era where Instagram influencers are being outed as untrustworthy scammers, sued for “failure to influence,” subpoenaed for financial records, and dropped from lucrative contracts when it turns out their whole image was only possible because of an alleged series of felonies. So: Are the real “influencers” still just TV personalities? They seem to be the people whose endorsements translate directly into sales — all while nobody can say for sure exactly how

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