Carey also shared a few of the initiatives he’s excited to expand upon in the coming year. “I’ve never seen a more disruptive period in the broader media industry,” wrote Carey, referring to the past year. He added that with disruption come opportunities, which Hearst pursued aggressively over the past 12 months.
“Our US Media print and digital operations had a very strong year, with profits that beat 2014’s (and even surpassed 2007’s, the last industry high point) — quite a statement, considering the significant shifts in the marketplace,” wrote Carey. Hearst’s digital operations in the US accounted for over 30 per cent of US profitability, he added.
Carey attributes much of Hearst’s digital success to its new content management system, MediaOS, which enables content to be shared across Hearst brands both domestically and abroad. The results have been positive, wrote Carey, “In the US, with the first full-year implementation of MediaOS, results exceeded every expectation. Unique visitors to our sites grew by nearly 50 per cent, digital revenue soared by 35 per cent, and the scope of our relationships with marketers expanded greatly, as we scaled our services well beyond media to include branded content, video production, social programs, and more.”
Looking ahead, Carey wrote that partnerships would be key to Hearst’s success in 2016. He cited the recent launch of Sweet, a joint venture with Snapchat and the first brand created specifically for Snapchat’s Discover platform, and the partnership with Lena Dunham’s LENNY as “the first of a series of new collaborations with next-generation content creators and technology companies.” Hearst will continue to pursue such partnerships in order to expand its digital and print properties in 2016, wrote Carey.
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