Ad Age has put together a list of five media properties that are actually making their properties work in these difficult economic times.  These media properties all have the following things working for them:

  • They have great, must-have editorial and entertainment
  • They know their audience
  • Their ads are tailored for their audience
  • They are constantly revamping their brands to stay relevant and indispensable
  1. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Digital Unit – Martha Stewart Living’s digital unit rose 28% in digital dollars in the last quarter.  It successfully adopted an advertorial approach, so the print, web, custom programs and ad creative all had the same feel.  They created a very successful pet site for Purina and created custom ads for Post and Kraft.  60%-70% of the new deals included custom creative, which is a large part in why the digital dollars were on the rise.
  2. Gawker Media – Gawker claims its ad revenue is up 45% over the first half of the year.  They chose not to sell space to ad networks, but exclusively to brand advertisers.  They signed up Heineken, Pepsi, Cadillac and Jaguar as a result of their no ad network plan.
  3. HBO – HBO’s perceived value for premium content allowed them to grow to over 29 million homes.  With the recession in full swing, people have less discretionary income, so for a little more than one trip to the movies, viewers can get a month of programming that includes Hollywood hits, original programming, documentaries, sports and live events.  HBO’s initiative of offering cable programming free of charge online to authorized, paying cable subscribers is also helping them gain subscribers.
  4. Clear Channel’s Streaming Audio Play – Online radio is a small but fast-growing sector.  Clear Channel’s success is partially based on a mobile app, IHeartRadio, they created for the iPhone and Blackberry, which has been downloaded 2.5 million times.  The mobile movement helped drive people online and now Clear Channel’s online audience is at 22 million unique listeners per month.
  5. Family Circle – While most monthly magazines have seen ad pages drop 22% through August, Family Circle posted a 12% increase.  The new editor in chief realized that the magazine had been too broad editorially, so with some research she targeted women with kids between 7 and 17 years old.   New advertisers for the magazine include Ikea, Lowe’s, JCPenney, Lenscrafters and Horizon Milk.  Family Circle takes pride in knowing their customers are seeking value and the magazine offers them ways and ideas of how to spend their money wisely.  The pure circulation of the magazine 3.9 million also helps when approaching advertisers.

For a more in-depth look at how each of these properties is succeeding in this tough economy, go to:

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