All You Thrives Amid Economic Woes
The recession has been bad news for most magazine publishers, but there are some important exceptions to this rule, including All You, which targets millions of value-oriented female shoppers through its exclusive distribution deal with Walmart. It's no surprise that interest in deals and discounts has grown in lean times, and All You is riding this rising tide of value-conscious consumption.
According to the Publishers Information Bureau, All You's ad pages increased 11.7% from 939 in 2009 to 1,049 in 2010 -- while the magazine industry in general was basically flat over the same period, with a 0.1% decline. Circulation has grown over the last couple of years, with newsstand sales increasing 6.7% from 382,850 in the six-month period ending June 2007 to 408,413 in the same period in 2010, and paid subscriptions soaring 162% from 245,698 to 643,112 in the same comparison. Since it launched, All You's rate base has increased 145 % from 500,000 in 2004 to 1,225,000 today -- and will increase another 6% to 1,300,000 in July.
All You publisher Diane Oshin says the magazine initially succeeded by targeting an underserved market, composed of "value conscious women who feel proud and responsible for finding value." Although no one could have predicted it, a few years later this put it in a good position to benefit from large-scale shifts in consumption habits resulting from the economic downturn, as more and more Americans proudly adopted the value-conscious identity.
Indeed, Oshin sees evidence that Americans of all income brackets have readjusted their spending habits -- "and it's not going back." This perception seems to jibe with recent studies of female spending habits, including the "Me-Covery" survey by Saatchi Wellness and Time Inc., which found that women are spending more on discretionary items (especially health and beauty products) while still keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line. Overall. the online survey of 800 women found that 92% feel impacted by economic conditions, with 10% saying they feel worse off in 2010 than 2009; but even the most-affected survey respondents said they were still changing spending habits to eat healthier and look good.
The Saatchi/Time Inc. study quoted a September report from Nielsen, reading: "Health and beauty product manufacturers and retailers need to know exactly what's important to those consumers: value for money and high quality products that enable them to look good, despite life's pressures."
Regent Media Faces Fraud AccusationsRegent Media, an LGBT media company that publishes The Advocate, is being accused of fraud to the tune of $90 million by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, according to court papers. BoA and ML are suing Regent, alleging that the company's top execs inflated or simply fabricated movie licensing and distribution deals beginning in 2005 to raise tens of millions from the banks, which would ostensibly be invested to help bring these revenue-producing licensing deals to fruition.
The banks accuse Regent execs of colluding with "undercapitalized shell entities" created by the executives to provide spurious "release strategies, financial projections, marketing strategies and film distribution budgets." The complaint reads in part: "Defendants knew that these marketing and release strategies and distribution budgets would never be adhered to or executed and that they were inappropriate for the scope of the, more often than not, low-quality straight to DVD film titles, but submitted them to Plaintiffs anyway." Merrill's lawyers add that Regent "conspired to create sham license and distribution agreements to give the appearance that the films being financed were contractually entitled to a fixed revenue of a certain amount."
People.com Gets a Cool Billion Page Views
People.com announced that it attracted record-setting Web traffic in January, when the site generated over 1 billion page views. People digital editor Mark Golin stated that he attributed the blockbuster traffic to the brand's "huge amount of resonance with a younger digital audience" and a "tireless staff who works 24/7 to not only break news but to enhance them with photo specials, video, celebrity bios, additional functionality and more," resulting in readers making multiple return visits every day."
Newsweek, Daily Beast Complete Merger
Less than a week after announcing they had ironed out key issues relating to union membership, Newsweek and The Daily Beast finally completed their merger on Feb. 1, creating a new entity called The Newsweek/Daily Beast Co. Mediaweek reports that Newsweek has undergone yet another redesign, and is already pitching the new look to media buyers -- citing one buyer who says the publication is offering steep discounts.