Meredith Corporation reports that Southern Living’s December issue ad revenue is up 51 per cent from last year, its monthly year-to-date audience across digital, print and online has averaged 25.5 million, up two per cent from 2019 (AAM, Sept. 2020) and its website experienced its highest trafficked November in its history with nearly 19 million visits, up 23 per cent year over year.
The December issue, on newsstands now, marks the 25th year of the brand’s annual holiday white cake cover and feature story.
Beginning with the January/February 2021 issue, the brand will introduce enhanced paper stock, along with a refreshed design. A new front-of-book section called “In Season” will debut to reflect readers’ interest in seasonal moments, experiences and celebrations, and a range of new columns will roll out in various issues throughout the year covering topics ranging from home and cooking to travel and beauty.
Doug Olson, President of Meredith Magazines, said, “Southern Living’s success underscores the brand’s resonance with people across the South and beyond. The brand’s rich heritage coupled with its modern take on the Southern lifestyle continues to appeal to marketers seeking the right environment to reach engaged consumers across the country. With our investment in improved paper, we’re excited to provide an even better reader experience.”
Sid Evans, Editor-in-Chief, said, “This year has given us all a different perspective on what’s important, and it pushed us to rethink our content, add some new columns, and make the magazine even more immersive. We’re always looking for new ways to inspire our readers, and we wanted to start 2021 with something vibrant, energetic, and fresh. Our goal is to celebrate the best of the modern South, and this redesign delivers on that promise.”
The brand’s audience across platforms is up 14 per cent year over year (7,097,722 social fans/followers in October 2020 versus 6,241,746 total fans/followers in October 2019) with notable increases coming from TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest. Southern Living debuted on TikTok earlier this year and now has a following of more than 300,000.
Deirdre Finnegan, VP/Group Publisher of Southern Living, said, “The vitality of this brand is a testament to the strong connection it has with its audience, nationally and across platforms, from the recent launch on TikTok to the iconic monthly magazine which reaches more than 15 million readers—many of whom live outside of the South. I’m looking forward to more success as Southern Living continues to evolve in 2021.”
The brand has also expanded in other areas, including Southern Living’s Biscuits & Jam podcast, launched last spring and has already been renewed for a second season.