NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Consider People's presence on the 2009 list a sign that the traditional metrics are less and less determinative. They're hugely important -- but so are the new ways forward. People suffered declines in newsstand sales and ad pages, like almost everyone else, but it also spent the year trying new things.
"Look, it's been a very challenging year from an economic standpoint," said Paul Caine, president-group publisher of the Time Inc. Style and Entertainment Group. "But our strategy for this year, the last few years, and the next few years, has not been about the economy, it's been about the consumer."
|Try something new. Even behemoths can find new places to connect with readers.|
People has had a channel on Taxi TV -- the network of video-touch screens in New York City taxis -- since 2008. Now it has started selling advertising there. Captivate Network video screens in building elevators regularly feature People content. The $1.99 Celebrity Tracker app that launched in May with Unilever as a sponsor hit fourth place among paid entertainment apps at its peak; People is eyeing three more apps for 2010.
People's Twitter feed has 1.49 million followers. Heck, the PeoplePets.com Twitter account has 764,322 followers.
That can't do anything but help People.com maintain its position among celebrity-magazine sites. It attracted 8.9 million unique visitors in August, the most recent month available, compared with 4.2 million for Us Weekly's site and less than 600,000 each for the other celebrity glossies, according to Nielsen Online. However, TMZ led People with 9.5 million uniques -- consider that battle engaged.
|2.||Better Homes & Gardens|
As circulation expert Jack Hanrahan pointed out in his "Circle of Success" awards in March, People's subscribers pay more than $100 every year -- and over $5 more than they did in 2004. "Single-copy buyers pay over $4 an issue on average when People's special issues are woven in," Mr. Hanrahan added. "Across 2008, just shy of 1.5 million buyers did that each week. Despite the nasty environment at retail, People's single-copy sales were higher in 2008 than they were in 2004 ... when a copy cost less."