Vibe Enlists Eminem to Boost Traffic, Users

Rapper used as face of American Idol-style contest; users expected to triple.

Vanessa Voltolina By Vanessa Voltolina
04/16/2009 -14:47 PM

Last week, Vibe launched Vibe Verses, its third annual online rap battle (think American Idol meets hip-hop). This year’s installment features the “No. 1 Stan Contest,” giving aspiring rappers a chance to be judged by artist Eminem.

While Vibe has produced a number online events and promotions—such as its recent online experiment, the Vammys—the magazine is banking on Eminem’s popularity to boost traffic, users to its social network  and, yes, subscriptions to the magazine.

So far, the contest is on track to have three times the number of user sign ups, Vibe says. Likewise, page views have increased by almost 300 percent compared to what it averages in a “non-contest” month.

Meanwhile, it’s a marketing play for both sides.

Eminem is a key component to the title’s June/July “Real Rap” print issue, which coincides with his new album, Relapse (the above is a 2006 Vibe cover). “He’s a friend of the [Vibe] brand, so we want to support his release,” Vibe Media Group associate publisher of marketing Olivia Scott-Perkins said. (Eminem’s lastest album, 2004's Encore, has sold around 5 million units in the U.S., a far cry from its earlier album, The Eminem Show, with upwards of 9 million U.S. sales.)

But with Vibe’s paid and verified circulation sliding 8.6 percent during the second half of 2008 according to the ABC and ad pages falling 17.7 percent, according to PIB, can the Real Slim Shady boost Vibe’s print?

While its June/July print issue may already have competition—like XXL’s recently debuted June cover—Scott-Perkins told FOLIO: that “no one else has a contest featuring [Eminem] and a quote [from him] thanking Vibe for bringing the battle off of the street corners and to the online space.”


Vanessa Voltolina By Vanessa Voltolina --

Post Comment / Discuss This Blog - Info/Rules

RECENTLY in Consumer dots icon

MOST READ on FOLIOdots icon

FOLIO: Alerts & Newslettersdots icon

Sign up for our news alerts, special offers & feature updates:

FOLIO: Alerts
Breaking news & industry updates

FOLIO: Publishing Technology
The Latest on Trends, Issues & Products (2x Monthly)

FOLIO: Special Promos
Special offers & announcements from Partners, Sponsors & Red 7 Media

FOLIO: Update
Webinar, content & service feature updates