Next up for Martha Stewart Brand: Line of Food

Also Revamped Website Will Feature Improved Search Function

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Fresh from stamping the Martha Stewart name on new housing communities and home renovation products, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia is planning its first line of food products, according to Susan Lyne, CEO of the company.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO Susan Lyne also said the company will change its web strategy from that of an e-commerce catalog to that of advertising-supported content.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO Susan Lyne also said the company will change its web strategy from that of an e-commerce catalog to that of advertising-supported content. Credit: Sebastian Mlynarski

"It's probably the category we are best known for since we do a lot of cookbooks. We've done a lot of research into and when we enter that category," she told the financial community at the annual Credit Suisse First Boston Media conference.

Scrapbook products
Come April, the multimedia lifestyle brand will also unveil a line of scrapbook products that will open the door to a $30 billion crafts business that currently lacks a national dominant brand.

The company has rapidly inked deals to get the Martha Stewart name everywhere, from a KB Home community to retailer such as Lowe's and Macy's. The flurry of activity is aimed at shoring up merchandise revenue before the company's lucrative Kmart deal expires. Ms. Lyne said the company would revert to royalties from guaranteed income and could see a dip in that segment come 2008.

Ms. Lyne also detailed a change in the company's web strategy from one reliant on e-commerce revenue from the catalog business to one now squarely focused on ad-supported content. MSLO is to unveil a revamped website next year and one element will be an improved search function. When users request a recipe they'll see results not only for the request but also table-top suggestions, side dishes, deserts and even third-party links, selected by Ms. Stewart.

Video series
The company is also planning a fresh video series featuring "great chefs" from around the world demonstrating their technique. That series will sit alongside classics from the archive that also will be made available.

The company, which has two major online partnerships with Yahoo and Google, is planning to make its content widely available with the hope the deals will draw traffic back to the MSLO main site. Ms. Lyne said links to Macys.com would bring a large number of visitors to the site.

Ms. Lyne said the company has invested $4 million in its new media offering and expects to draw ad revenue of between $8 million and $10 million this year, with the goal of reaching 10 million users by 2010.
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