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Time4Media Relaunches SkiNet 'Destination' Portal

'Ski,' 'Skiing' Lose Individual Websites

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Time4 Media division of Time Inc., which like everyone continues feeling its way toward the best digital strategies, has abandoned the "companion" websites for Ski and Skiing magazines in favor of a revived "destination" site at SkiNet.com.
Time4 Media is reviving the now-defunct SkiNet.com site to serve as the online component of both of its skiing magazines.
Time4 Media is reviving the now-defunct SkiNet.com site to serve as the online component of both of its skiing magazines.

The move echoes last January's combination of the individual companion sites for Time Inc. titles Fortune, Fortune Small Business and Business 2.0 with CNNMoney.com, which had been a joint venture between CNN and Money magazine. It also recalls Conde Nast Publications' long-standing strategy of building portal-like destinations such as Style.com and Epicurious.com rather than robust sites for individual titles.

First attempt went dark
Mountain Sports Media, the Time4 division that houses Ski and Skiing, tried the destination approach first, building SkiNet.com in the early 1990s as a comprehensive site for content from both titles. But independent branded sites for each magazine appeared in the late 1990s, and by 2003 SkiNet.com went dark.

Now, just as Conde Nast is adding substance and resources to its books' companion sites, Ski and Skiing are returning to the destination strategy.

So web surfers who try to visit Skimag.com, Skiingmag.com or Warrenmiller.com are now redirected to a relaunched SkiNet.com, which includes content from all three sources as well as tools such as a ski finder and, eventually and of course, user-generated content.

"This consolidated site makes it easy for a broad audience of skiers to get the information they want, when and how they want it," said Jamie Pentz, group publisher, Mountain Sports Media.

Unique visitors to each site were too few to be measured by Nielsen/NetRatings, but Mountain Sports said unique visitors to the three independent sites collectively totaled 1 million from January through March of this year, 86% higher than uniques counted during the equivalent period in 2005. The company declined to reveal revenue from the sites but said it rose 18% in the same period.
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