DailyCandy Turns To Times Digital Vets

  • by May 18, 2007
In a move marking DailyCandy's strength as a leading vehicle for marketers seeking to reach young female influencers, the publisher yesterday hired two executives who had previously worked together growing New York Times Digital for nearly 10 years: Catherine Levene as chief operating officer and Alyson Racer as vice president of ad sales. The COO job had been vacant for a year while Racer's position is new at the company.

Levine was most recently senior vice president at TheFind.com, and previously vice president of product, business development and strategy at New York Times Digital. Racer was most recently vice president of advertising at New York Times Digital, ten years after joining there as the Times' first-ever online sales rep.

DailyCandy CEO Pete Sheinbaum, who had also been running operations and ad sales, said he undertook an exhaustive search to find qualified candidates who not only had the right skills, but the right "cultural perspective" for a property dedicated to the latest news in fashion, food, culture and fun for young, single urban women in their mid- to late 20s.

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DailyCandy, whose flagship email newsletters currently boast more than 2.4 million subscribers, attracts links and banner advertising from such companies as Ford, Loreal, Estee Lauder and Nike, along with local marketers in its daily targeted editions covering 11 major U.S. cities and London. The company also publishes a national edition and three separate weekly editions covering travel, kids and shopping deals. All subscribers also receive a weekly dedicated email on behalf of one of DailyCandy's advertisers.

"Most of our marketing partners feel we've captured a large group of influencers," said Sheinbaum, noting that DailyCandy appeals to advertisers who "want to start trends and move products." Not only do they want to reach the 2.4 million subscribers, but also email's equivalent of "pass-along" readership through online's viral element.

Magazines are one of the publisher's main competitors for advertising to its target audience, and Sheinbaum said he's "seeing dollars starting to move over" from such publishers as Conde Nast, Hearst and Time Inc. He attributed this to email's greater flexibility and the ability to track and measure how ads perform.

Sheinbaum said advertisers have also been asking for the advantages of Web site advertising, such as its rich media aspects, so DailyCandy.com will be overhauled this summer with new functionality, better ease of use and more search capabilities. He's also looking to add online video segments.

Sheinbaum explained that the site once served mainly as a way for readers to sign up for the email newsletters, but in the seven years since DailyCandy launched, so much content has been accumulated that young women "looking for things to do in cities they haven't been to before turn to DailyCandy first."

Also on the horizon for DailyCandy are new platforms, following last year's mobile launch, and new cities, both domestic and international. Sheinbaum said he also wants to grow the brand through new TV, radio and print tie-ins.

As a private company, DailyCandy doesn't release revenue figures, but Sheinbaum noted that 90% of revenues come from advertising and that subscriber growth has been about 7% annually,

And a spike is coming--the time of the year when new female college grads move to New York and other large urban centers, and turn to his email publications for the latest in what to do and buy.

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