Rodale Magazine Web Ad Revenue Jumps 90 Percent in First Quarter
Rodale Inc., which underwent a major restructuring in efforts to become more brand-centric and focus on digital initiatives last year, saw revenues topping $135 million for the first quarter of 2007, a 5.6 percent increase over the same period last year.
Magazine Web site ad revenue increased 90 percent for the quarter compared to 70 percent growth for the year 2006. Between January and April, the company acquired two million new customers through digital channels. Online revenues, including e-commerce sales to magazine customer, account for 10 percent of total revenue.
New Structure Powers Growth
Rodale credits the growth to last year’s company reorganization, implemented by president and CEO Steve Murphy, which created a brand-based structure, uniting print and online magazine sales teams into one sales force.
"The realignment of the company around Rodale’s key brands that Steve Murphy instituted last year is delivering strong results," a company spokesperson told Folio: Alert. "Rodale is now able to more rapidly respond to customers’ and advertising clients’ needs and connect advertisers with Rodale’s readers through a diverse mix of media."
The company’s subscription Web site business also saw revenues increase 45 percent in the quarter, led by the launch of thebestlife.com, a subscription-based companion site to the book by Oprah Winfrey’s trainer Bob Greene. "The results of our first quarter show that the new organization is working and that it not only is succeeding in creating incremental and strong connections with Rodale’s customers, but is also encouraging an atmosphere of creativity that is already putting new products and new opportunities for Rodale into play," said the spokesperson.
The company has added more resources to support the new brand-centric structure, while at the same time new positions have been created. To support online sales efforts, for example, each major brand hired online advertising director to report to the brand ad director or associate publisher. "Strong brand teams are operating across multiple platforms, while the strong lines-of-business;advertising sales, international, and direct response, among others;are creating the connection," said the spokesperson.
The Numbers By Brand
Individual magazine print ad sales were also impressive for the quarter, as Organic Gardening ad page growth expanded 192 percent, which Rodale credits to an increase in sales staffers and a redesign, as well as a shift in the market. "Marketers are embracing the core tenants of the title: Organic lifestyle and environmentally sound decisions for the future of the earth," said the spokesperson.
Women’s Health saw a 34 percent gain in ad pages and a 162 percent increase in advertising revenues. The WH brand generated $6.1 million in revenue in the quarter, up from $2.6 million recorded in the first quarter 2006.
Men’s Health saw a 23 percent gain in ad pages over the same period 2006. Online ad revenues for the brand increased more than 140 percent for the quarter. Newsstand sales for the men’s title also increased five percent, averaging just over 519,000 copies per issue sold on newsstands. The Men’s Health brand overall recorded a 12 percent increase.
Best Life saw ad page gains of 47 percent and revenue growth of more than 70 percent over the same period last year, due to the title’s 27 new advertisers signed on in 2007 thus far.
Prevention experienced page gains of 7.5 percent and revenue growth of 12 percent for the quarter while Runner’s World and Bicycling print revenues increased eight and six percent, respectively.