June 23, 2016 Last Updated 1:52 pm

Meredith celebrates reaching a new high in readership among millennial women

Through a series of acquisitions, the magazine publisher has been able to build up its audience among young women, a target audience that it is competing for with Time Inc. and others

The announcement below got my attention due to the fact that it reinforces a theme here at TNM: the traditional magazine companies like Hearst, Meredith and Time Inc. see that to reverse their print ad revenue problems they will need to increase their digital audiences, especially among young women.

If you read the announcement below you will see the word “acquisition” a number of times. Most of these are good, established brands. But in other announcements, from other publishers, you often see an acquisition being announced that is of a brand that may seem hot today, but one wonders whether there is any revenue to be found in the acquired party (sometimes the answer is definitely “yes”).

It is obvious that I am a bit skeptical of the strategy here, but not completely against it, as the same time. If magazines supposedly know their audiences, which we are told all the time, I don’t see why they couldn’t be in a position to launch new brands for their target audiences. But if a good property is identified, I’m certainly not against acquisitions. But they still need to monetize these audiences and this is where I see a disconnect.

If these brands being acquired could not monetize their own audiences, then can the acquiring company do that? Is the problem magazines face that they would be doing just great if they had larger audiences? or is it that they are having trouble competing with native digital companies such as Google and Facebook? Or both?

Audience is only one part of the equation, and I know first hand that as some of these media companies are talking out of one side of their mouths about digital ad efforts, they are actually laying off many of those they brought on board to boost digital ad sales.

OK, having said all that, Meredith here is celebrating reaching a huge number of readers they are targeting. We look forward to seeing them translate that into revenue. We could all use a bit of good news on the revenue side.

Here is Meredith’s announcement:

DES MOINES, Iowa and NEW YORK – June 23, 2016 — Meredith Corporation – the leading media and marketing company serving American women – announced today that its multi-channel reach among American women has hit an all-time high of 102 million, including 72 percent of U.S. Millennial women.

shapemag-cover-300Fueling this growth has been a significant increase in reach by Meredith brands to Millennial women. Meredith now reaches 26 million Millennial women across its media channels. That’s 72 percent of U.S. Millennial women, up from 63 percent a year ago.

“We have been extremely focused on building our reach to the next generation of Meredith audiences, who are just as passionate as their moms about consuming the trusted content delivered by our brands,” says Tom Harty, President, Meredith National Media Group. “We have invested in products across our portfolio, including digital video, social platforms, media partnerships, new acquisitions, branded sites, and magazine editorial. We are committed to continue creating best-in-class content for our consumer audiences.”

Harty notes that over the past several years Meredith’s investments have included:

  • The acquisition of the SHAPE brand, creating a women’s active lifestyle super brand with a rate base of 2.5 million and 14 million total cross channel brand impressions;
  • A 10-year licensing agreement with Martha Stewart digital and print brands, including Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings;
  • The redesign and evolution of Allrecipes.com as a food-focused social network that enables home cooks and brands to shine;
  • New product launches including Allrecipes magazine, Parents Latina and Fit Pregnancy and Baby;
  • The acquisition of mywedding.com, the leading digital destination for local wedding planning and content;
  • The expansion of content targeting Millennial consumers in key large scale brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and Parents among others across media platforms; and,
  • The acquisition of ad technology companies Selectable Media and Qponix, which have significantly increased Meredith’s platforms for digital video delivery and targeted shopper marketing.

Meredith’s expanded audience reach has clearly been fueled by these investments and has enabled Meredith to grow its digital audience to 82 million monthly unique visitors, an increase that has more than doubled in just the past three years. Driving this growth has been mobile digital usage, which now represents more than 65 percent of Meredith’s total digital audience.

Meredith has also increased its total database of consumers to 125 million individuals, representing 82 million households.

“We have been able to build the audiences for our brands across platforms without any significant loss from one platform to the next, which speaks to our belief that great content from trusted brands is what consumers truly value,” says Harty.

As part of its Millennial growth plan, Meredith has infused its brands with fresh voices, personalities, talent and content that speaks across life stages. For example, Meredith recently announced a multi-channel strategic partnership with “What’s Up Moms” to create and distribute lifestyle content to their combined audiences. What’s Up Moms is among the top parenting brands and networks on YouTube, reaching more than 1 million subscribers and garnering over 35 million views per month for its highly relatable how-to and short form comedic videos geared towards parents.

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