In the past year, though, People has grown its digital presence significantly. Its online audience, at 35 million multiplatform unique visitors in January, according to comScore, is up 73 percent from a year ago. (By People’s internal server-side stats, its February was a much-higher 72 million uniques.) According to analytics firm NewsWhip, People had 7.4 million Facebook engagements (a combination of likes, shares and comments) in February, up from 1.5 million a year earlier.
People’s print business isn’t what it used to be. Single-copy sales, which used to top 1 million copies weekly, averaged 686,364 in the second half of 2014. So as Time Inc.’s cash cow, its digital health is key to the company’s future. In September, it recruited former TMZ New York bureau chief Will Lee to became editor of People.com in September. Yesterday, Rich Battista was named the business head of People and Entertainment Weekly. Lee, who has since been named digital editorial director for both titles, talked about other ways he has been juicing People.com.
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