General Manager, Digital Media, New York Media
New York Media Has Seen its Web traffic continue to rise—up 50 percent in both unique visitors and page views from June 2007 to June 2008, with an average of over 5 million unique visitors and 40 million page views per month. And the company just completed the acquisition of Menupages.com, giving New York Media a dominant 70 percent share of the New York City restaurant listings market, according to Michael Silberman general manager, digital media.
One of Silberman’s strategic initiatives heading into 2009 is to expand Menupages beyond the current eight markets—New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and South Florida—to create opportunities for local ad sales, direct marketing for national advertisers and content expansion outside of New York.
“I think success depends on understanding the importance of digital while continuing to maintain the editorial and economic health of print properties,” Silberman says. “The companies that get it and are able to successfully execute a digital strategy will succeed; the companies that don’t understand it or can’t execute will fall behind.”
Specifically, Silberman wants to grow NYMag.com in key verticals—“news about the people and industries that matter to New York;” restaurants and food; entertainment and culture; fashion and shopping—for both a local and national audience. (Interestingly, 65 percent of NYMag.com’s audience comes from outside the New York market, Silberman says.)
The company is expecting growth across all categories of its digital business. “Despite the overall economic slowdown, we continue to see more digital RFPs with higher dollar amounts,” he says. “And we’re seeing clients who had only been interested in print making the move into digital—most often with incremental dollars rather than shifting spending from one platform to another.”
Aside from its strategic goals, Silberman says the company will continue to invest in improving our technical infrastructure—“all the non-sexy stuff that will make us more nimble and able to get new site features into the market faster.”
STRENGTHS: New York’s award-winning Web site has the infrastructure in place making it nimble enough to move quickly.
WEAKNESSES: If the economy doesn’t improve, some of its strategic goals—like expanding its newly acquired Menupages—might not be possible.
OPPORTUNITIES: Silberman says 65 percent of nymag.com’s audience resides outside of New York—giving it a national audience to leverage on the sales side.
THREATS: Other magazine companies could “finally wake up and start to really compete for digital ad dollars.”
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