AARP Revamps 'Internet For Grown-Ups'
After investing two years and millions of dollars, AARP this week unveiled what it is calling "the Internet for grown-ups." That's according to Kyle Lewis, AARP's VP of media sales and business development, who said the online overhaul was critical to meeting the growing digital demands of the 50+ crowd.
"We're talking about a new generation of 50+ users," said Lewis. "They've grown with the penetration of this technology at work and at home."
Indeed, by AARP's own estimates, more than a quarter -- 27% -- of Americans age 50+ now use social media Web sites, with Facebook being the most popular, followed by MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Along with consolidating once disparate content channels under one roof -- at aarp.org -- the revamp includes AARP news and content apps produced by the firm Bottle Rocket; and the AARP Digital Newsstand, powered by Texterity, and featuring all three AARP pubs.
AARP also grew its content channels from 5 to 13 through partnerships with Frommers, ADAM, Cookstr.com, Arkadium, Illumen, and Destination RX, and Happy Neuron, and in the near future they will be joined by Kiplingers Personal Finance, Oberon, Newscom (AARP en Espanol), and Healthline.
Meanwhile, AARP's new interactive community features 2GB of online storage for photos and videos, and more with more involvement from content producers -- both internal, and external -- on the way.
Lewis said its community now has over 1,000,000 registered users, about 300,000 of whom AARP considers "active users."
The broad initiative began back in 2008 when AARP brought in digital agency Razorfish to research the digital wants and needs of the 50+ population. Presently, AARP.org claims 3 million unique monthly visitors, and 44 million total page views. By the end of the year, AARP endeavors to reach 5.8 million average monthly unique visits.
Later this summer, AARP plans to bolster its online efforts with apps for the iPhone and iPad, which will eventually be followed by apps for other mobile platforms.
Lewis said AARP is presently finalizing several premium sponsorship deals with brands in the areas of technology, CPGs, and durable goods. "Beyond sponsorship, we're hoping to launch specific offers around most of our content channels."