Reader's Digest Association's Core Brands Show Big Gains Among Readers And Advertisers In CY2012 And Q1 2013 Reader Engagement Significantly Increases in 2012 on Digital and Print Platforms

Advertising Revenue on RDA Digital Properties Jumps 35% in 2012 and 94% for Reader's Digest

Q1 2013 Shows Continued Strong Ad Pages Growth

NEW YORK, March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., the global multi-brand and multi-platform media and direct marketing company, today released CY2012 and first quarter 2013 figures which demonstrated a strong, growing demand for its North American media brands from print and digital readers and advertisers alike.  The high engagement levels and strong digital advertising performance signal that the Company's strategy to focus more resources on its core products and to design more compelling advertising campaigns is increasing traction among these critical audiences.

The Company's North American media brands in 2012 and through Q1 2013 boasted stronger engagement metrics from readers across all print and digital platforms, but particularly on the digital front where readers' response has been resoundingly positive.   

"It all starts with a great product, and our readers are responding enthusiastically to our strong North American media brands – our engagement numbers for 2012 are quite impressive," said Robert E. Guth, CEO of Reader's Digest Association.  "In fact, a majority of the Company's brands in 2012, notably Reader's Digest and Taste of Home, were category leading in terms of engagement levels across print and digital platforms.  We believe these notable results demonstrate the relevance and vitality of our brands and stem from our investment in our media properties on every platform – tablet, web, print and mobile. 

"Looking ahead, we are committed to our strategy of focusing the necessary resources on our brands to build on these strong trends, while the financial restructuring process we have initiated will enable us to continue to redefine and transform our corporate infrastructure."

The Company's media brands showed marked gains in 2012 on digital platforms:

  • All North American brands posted double-digit gains in digital copies served in CY12.  The most significant growth came from Taste of Home, which launched iPad and Android editions in 2012.
  • Readersdigest.com increased monthly unique visitors by 68% over 2011 and extended its streak to nine consecutive quarters of traffic growth.
  • Both Taste of Home and The Family Handyman continued to attract unique visitors to their respective websites at a fast clip.  Unique visitors to TasteofHome.com grew 51% in 2012 and have more than doubled since 2010.  Unique visitors to The Family Handyman grew 93% in 2012 and have more than tripled since 2010.

Advertisers have also taken notice of the strength and vitality of the Company's North American media brands, which notched strong advertising gains in 2012, particularly in digital advertising revenue.  Advertising revenue across all U.S. digital properties increased 35% over 2011 led by the Reader's Digest flagship, which grew its digital advertising revenue by 94%. 

In terms of advertising pages in print editions, Reader's Digest was the only title in its competitive set to show paging gains for both 2011 and 2012; Taste of Home continued to outperform its epicurean peer set; and The Family Handyman gained the most pages versus its competitive set.  The strong ad pages growth continued into Q1 2013 where Reader's Digest is up 12.3% through March 2013 vs. a decline in the overall competitive set of 6.4%; The Family Handyman's March issue brings the magazine up 10.6% for the quarter, the most growth in the competitive set; and Taste of Home is up 21.3% YTD vs. an increase of 13.6% for the competitive set.

"From a number of perspectives, 2012 was a great year in advertising for our North American media brands, and these strong trends have continued through the first quarter of 2013," said Mark Josephson, Vice President and Chief Sales Officer of Reader's Digest Association.  "Coming off of a strong 2011, 2012 showed impressive growth in digital and print advertising, particularly for Reader's Digest and The Family Handyman.  We attribute a lot of this success to our fully integrated sales team that works across our brands and device platforms to create highly effective ad campaigns for our ad partners to maximize audience engagement.  Our advertisers have taken notice.  A majority of our ad partners in 2012 has re-upped for 2013 at significant investment levels."

About The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Reader's Digest Association (RDA) is a global media and direct marketing company that educates, entertains and connects consumers around the world with products and services from trusted brands. For more than 90 years, flagship brand Reader's Digest, the world's largest circulation magazine, has simplified and enriched consumers' lives by discovering and expertly selecting the most interesting ideas, stories, experiences and products in health, home, family, food, finance and humor. Taste of Home is the world's largest circulation food publication and is the leading multi-platform producer of information on food, cooking and entertaining. Other brands include The Family Handyman, Birds & Blooms, Country, and many other enthusiast titles in the U.S. and internationally. The company provides content in print; online; via digital download on iPad, mobile apps, Kindle, KindleFire, Nook, Sony Reader and Zinio; books and home entertainment products; Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. Further information about the company can be found at www.rda.com.

For further information contact:
The Reader's Digest Association
David Press Tel: 917.721.7046

SOURCE Reader's Digest Association, Inc.



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