AMI may have a print heritage with endemic newsstand titles like National Enquirer and Ok!, but the company points to digital for driving growth in 2016.
AMI Digital averaged 50 million monthly unique visitors in fiscal year 2016, which was up 29% over 2015. What’s more, digital revenue grew by 42% year-over-year, and now accounts for 20% of the company’s total revenue. That success also led financier, JP Morgan, to advise the company in a refinancing program that will save AMI $20 million in the next year.
“AMI’s digital growth is the result of a coordinated strategic effort centered on strong editorial content and taking advantage of new formats and distribution platforms,” says AMI chief digital officer, Brian Kroski. “Across all of our digital properties, whether celebrity or fitness, we’ve been very deliberate in creating content that resonates with our readers. We pay close attention to the data and actively listen to our readers on social media, and endeavor to give them something special that they want to read or watch.”
Kroski also points to the strength of AMI’s digital audience as a catalyst for more ad revenue. “AMI has an incredibly appealing advertising proposition for any brand that wants to reach a highly desirable and engaged audience in a premium environment,” he says. “Our Active Lifestyle readers are 71% Millennials with disposable income, and our Celebrity Entertainment sites have an incredibly engaged readership with 65% of the readers visiting over 90 times per month.”
Looking ahead to the next fiscal year, Kroski and AMI expect more growth, as long as they stay in step with industry trends. “We see digital revenue continuing to grow at a healthy rate,” he says. “There are definitely market forces out there which are challenging right now for ‘traditional’ digital media, but we’ve proactively diversified and continue to grow revenue in some of the newer spaces like header bidding and native advertising.”