"Whenever you do anything new, anything innovative, you take people outside of their comfort zones," said Vivek Shah, president of digital publishing for the Time Inc. Business and Finance Network. He was referring to the internal debate preceding the January 2006 relaunch of CNNMoney.com as the Internet home for Fortune, Fortune Small Business and Business 2.0, as well as Money, which had formed the original online partnership with CNN in 2001. CNN and Time Inc. are both divisions of Time Warner.
The results quickly settled the debate. According to CNNMoney.com's internal tracking system, Omniture, average unique visitor counts were 14.1 million in the first quarter of 2005 and 20.2 million in the first quarter of 2006, a 43% increase. By the first quarter of 2007, average unique counts had grown another 13% to 22.9 million.
According to Nielsen/NetRatings. CNNMoney.com was the most-visited Web site in business and finance last year.
Unique visitor count is not Shah's favorite measure of success, though. "We think total usage minutes is a better indicator for a destination site," he said. In terms of gross usage minutes, CNNMoney.com saw a 52% increase in January 2006 over January 2005, from 123.7 million to 187.9 million.
Last November, CNN- Money.com unveiled a new video platform to showcase content produced exclusively for the site by the staffs of Fortune, Fortune Small Business, Money and Business 2.0, as well as the site's dedicated editorial team.