January 10, 2017
In his annual New Year’s letter, Hearst Magazines’ president David Carey looked back at last year’s accomplishments and shared strategy for 2017.
Mr. Carey shared with colleagues that Hearst Magazines saw increased earnings for the third straight year. As print is faced with a period of evolution due to consumer behavior that relies less and less on print, Mr. Carey and all of Hearst Magazines will focus on the “need to be both robust and nimble” in the coming year.
Last year Hearst Magazines saw a monthly circulation of more than 32 million, making the magazine publisher the largest in the United States.
Titles in its stable also performed well for the year, with six publications posting record financial performance. Luxury lifestyle title Town & Country, for example, performed exceptionally well for the year as did mass titles such as HGTV Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and Country Living.
Hearst's digital properties also had notable growth in 2016. Hearst Magazines’ Digital Media produced more than 80,000 pieces of content leading to a 29 percent increase in traffic and revenue growth of more than 31 percent.
The publisher’s international dealings also saw a positive year. Hearst Japan, for example, was the top-performing international unit, posting its seventh year of revenue growth and record profits.
Hearst Tower in New York
Similar earnings increases were recorded by Hearst Taiwan, Hearst Magazines Italia and Hearst Magazines Netherlands. The publisher’s Spanish unit saw print advertising increase for the first time since 2010.
In the United Kingdom, Hearst doubled its profits and the Hearst Made custom publishing division saw revenue gains as well.
For the year ahead, Mr. Carey outlined what’s to come for Hearst in 2017. In his letter, Mr. Carey touches on implementing new strategies, including establishing content hubs in the United States and U.K. These hubs will create content across multiple brands and geographies to find new efficiencies.
Mr. Carey’s full letter can be read here.
Rival publisher Conde Nast’s luxury tiles also performed well in 2016, with many showing resilience and buoyancy in a changing print realm.
Condé Nast’s print and digital sales have been propelled by its luxury tiles such as Tatler and Vogue during the first half of 2016.
In August, the publisher’s United Kingdom division announced the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures for the half, which show the growth of eight titles. Condé Nast has invested heavily in digital recently as the print climate evolves; during the first half engagement has increased across platforms, a nod that the publisher is on the right track (see story).