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GROWING REACH: With 26 sites and counting, Hearst Magazines Digital Media will launch a new vertical late next year that “is not one you’d expect from us,” noted Chuck Cordray, senior vice president and general manager. He added the URL already has been purchased but declined to provide more information. Next summer, the digital unit also will relaunch its teen network, which includes seventeen.com and teenmag.com.
And the digital space continues to attract new advertisers for Hearst, with ad revenue up more than 20 percent year-over-year. Cordray said the focus for next year will be on the retail category, which rose more than 50 percent this year. Cordray contended advertisers are coming to the Hearst digital network because, among other things, the package of sites on which the ads will appear can be customized depending on the audience a given brand wants to reach. “Ad networks usually can’t guarantee quality like we can, and they will alter placements across their sites,” Cordray said. “The nature of our content means the audience is very tailored.”
Meanwhile, the Web continues to be a greater source of subscriptions, with 3.3 million garnered this year versus 2.5 million in 2008. House Beautiful is one of the leaders, with more than 75 percent of subscriptions sold online.
Hearst magazine sites represent more than 40 percent of the total traffic in the digital network and 50 percent of its ad revenue. According to comScore for March through October, traffic across the total network was up 33 percent, including food site Delish.com. Traffic at Cosmopolitan was up 1 percent, Marie Claire was up 19 percent and Harper’s Bazaar was up 151 percent. Kaboodle, a nonmagazine site that focuses on fashion, was up 66 percent.
— Amy Wicks