Hearst President David Carey Predicts Strong 2016 in Year-End Letter
On December 24th, Hearst CEO David Carey sent his annual letter to Hearst employees summing up the highlights and challenges of 2015. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. accounted for over 30% of U.S. 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 U.S., with the first full-year implementation of MediaOS, results exceeded every expectation. Unique visitors to our sites grew by nearly 50%, digital revenue soared by 35%, 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.
Carey asked several of his colleagues to share their goals for 2016 through a series of photos which have been posted to the Hearst website. These goals offer a blueprint for Hearst’s strategy in 2016, he explained.
In closing, Carey offered his prediction for publishing in 2016: “For the media industry, 2016 promises to be a year filled with marketplace complexity, business model evolution, and as many, if not more, changes as we’ve experienced in the past 12 months. This may be intimidating to some, but at Hearst Magazines we see it as a time of extraordinary opportunity, a time to take smart risks, a chance for soul-satisfying personal achievements, and impressive teamwork.”
Read Carey’s complete letter here.
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