RODALE REPORTS 2009 FULL-YEAR RESULTS
EMMAUS, PA, and NEW YORK, March 16, 2010-Rodale Inc. reported its 2009 full-year results today. Revenues for the company decreased 21.5%, compared with 2008, largely due to industry-wide softening of advertising revenues. Offsetting this decline was the strong performance of Rodale’s books division, which saw a 36% increase in revenues, compared with 2008, and strong and steady results for Women’s Health, which increased 13.6% in advertising revenues, compared to 2008, according to PIB. A strong circulation performance also boosted Rodale’s 2009 results.
“In one of the most challenging years in publishing history, we’ve managed to keep our head above raging waters,” said Maria Rodale, Chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc. “Across several brands and categories, including advertising and newsstand sales, we either ended the year flat with or ahead of industry average, and consumer demand for Rodale products has not wavered. These accomplishments and our ability to extend our content into new platforms and develop new products give me every confidence that we will remain in a solid position throughout 2010.”
Consumer demand for Rodale products continued to grow in 2009. Paid subscriptions grew across six Rodale titles: Notably, Women’s Health increased 28% year over year; Men’s Health increased 6% in the second half of 2009, compared with 2008; and Organic Gardening increased 26% in the second half of 2009, compared with 2008. Additionally, overall newsstand sales for Rodale beat industry average-Runner’s World increased 3.6% and Women’s Health increased 3.3% in the second half of 2009 versus the same period in 2008. Rodale also saw a boost in subscriptions generated from online channels, with Runner’s World reporting a 59% growth in subscriptions generated from online in 2009 over 2008 and Women’s Health reporting a 38% increase in subscriptions generated from online channels.
Revenues for Rodale Books increased 36% in 2009, compared with 2008, in part due to robust sales of the Eat This, Not That! franchise, which sold well over 3 million copies across trade and direct response channels in 2009 alone. Flat Belly Diet!, which sold over 900,000 copies across trade and direct response channels in 2009, remains a New York Times bestseller. Rodale Books had an additional 12 titles on the New York Times list, including Our Choice by Vice President Al Gore, The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, and Dr. David Kessler’s The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite.
Magazines and Web Sites
Rodale print advertising revenues and pages were flat against industry average in 2009 compared with 2008, according to PIB. Online advertising revenues for Rodale’s magazine-branded Web sites decreased 13.5%, compared with 2008, and unique visitors and page views increased 28% and 8%, respectively, compared with 2008, according to Coremetrics.
On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Rodale officially launched www.Rodale.com, the company’s online source for the latest news and information about healthy living on a healthy planet, which also features Maria Rodale’s blog, Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen, which is now syndicated on Huffington Post. Traffic to the site has grown quickly to 600,000 page views per month, 125,000 monthly unique visitors, and 75,000 newsletter subscribers, and its Healthy Living on a Healthy Planet Sweepstakes received 35,000 entries. Additionally, the Rodale Recipe Finder featured on www.Prevention.com and launched on www.RunnersWorld.com, www.MensHealth.com, and www.WomensHealthMag.com, generated over 300,000 monthly unique visitors and 3 million monthly page views. Editorial coverage linking environmental and personal health on key topics including the H1N1 virus and coverage of President Obama’s health care debate generated strong interest.
- Men’s Health improved its market share over its competitive set by 9% in 2009 over 2008.
- Annual subscriptions increased by 4%. And, as a result of its cover strategy and redesign, the magazine secured its highest audience in its history with a global readership of more than 23 million.
- Men’s Health launched a first-of-its-kind iPhone application within the magazine industry utilizing the iPhone OS 2.0 In App Purchase function and created nearly 20 apps in 2009 alone. They included the Eat This, Not That! iPhone app, which hit #1 in most downloaded applications in the Healthcare & Fitness category.
- In 2009, the Men’s Health-branded Book Group published three New York Times bestsellers-Big Book of Exercises; Cook This, Not That!, which became the bestselling cookbook in the country within a week of its launch in December 2009; and Belly Off! Diet-and comprises over 20% of the brand’s revenue stream. The brand published four books in the bestselling book series, Eat This, Not That!, which has more than 6 million copies in print since December 2007.
- Through an exclusive health and fitness cover story and interview with the White House, Men’s Health was established as the authority on President Obama’s fitness regimen. Both the exclusive interview in Men’s Health, and the interviews with First Lady Michelle Obama in Women’s Health and Children’s Health (and Prevention), created national media storms that continue to garner coverage.
- Women’s Health topped Advertising Age‘s A-list as “Magazine of the Year.”
- The brand continues to outpace its competitive set on the newsstand: The second half of 2009 was up 3%, compared with the second half of 2008, following an 8% increase in the first half of 2009.
- Women’s Health published two books in the second half of 2009-Age Erasers for Women and the Big Book of Exercises.
- The magazine-branded Web site, www.WomensHealthMag.com, increased both unique visitors and page views by over 100% in 2009, compared with 2008.
- In 2009, nearly 50 million Prevention-branded products were sold, including magazines, books, SIPs, bookazines, iPhone applications, DVDs, and online subscription services.
- Prevention secured 62 new advertisers, and www.Prevention.com locked in 106 new advertisers.
- The magazine-branded Web site, www.Prevention.com, generated over 250 million page views in 2009, up 29% over 2008. The Web site averages 22 million page views per month.
- Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello began monthly guest appearances in the fifth chair during the second season of the CBS show The Doctors. The partnership includes print and online integration, including the “Picture of Health” contest, which has garnered nearly quadruple the number of submissions in the contest’s 3-year history.
Runner’s World/Running Times
- Runner’s World improved market share over its competitive set by 13% in 2009 over 2008.
- In 2009, Runner’s World reported its sixth record-breaking newsstand year in a row, with an average sale per issue of more than 100,000 copies. These gains were achieved despite price increases in 2006 and 2008.
- Runner’s World introduced its first iPhone application, the Nike-sponsored “Runner’s World Shoe Shop.” The brand also kicked off its first Marathon Challenge, a multiplatform, premium subscription marathon-training program built around an exclusive 16-week training plan created by Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso. The program also includes an exclusive online community and direct assess to Runner’s World editors and experts. More than 500 runners participated in the Challenge, and over 200 of them ran with Runner’s World editors in the 2009 SunTrust Richmond Marathon. The Marathon Challenge was so successful that in 2010 the program will expand to include four marathons and half marathons.
- For the third year in a row, Runner’s World was honored in the Best American Sports Writing series with two stories included in the 2009 anthology. Runner’s World has had eight stories selected in the past 6 years, and nine overall. Additionally, Advertising Age recognized Runner’s World in its “First Smart Moves” section of its A-List package.
- Bicycling improved market share over its competitive set by 8% in 2009 over 2008.
- Bicycling received several industry recognitions in 2009. The title won a National Magazine Award in the “Public Interest” category and is the only magazine ever to make AdweekMedia‘s Hot List for 4 consecutive years. Bicycling also won a MIN “Best of the Web” award in the “Uses of Interactivity” category for its GPS maps tool.
- Bicycling‘s successful Dream Rides premium cycling tours expanded into Europe (France) and sold out two trips in California.
- The brand launched Bicycling Mobile, a resource for on-the-go news, race coverage, and blogs. It provides access to GPS ride maps and has expanded the reach of the brand’s Gear & Bike Review Finder, Bicycling‘s industry-standard reviews of 1,500+ bikes, components, apparel, and accessories suited to every riding style and budget.
- In 2009, Organic Gardening grew its advertising revenue by 16.2%, and pages remained flat, according to PIB. The brand also added 36 new advertisers. The magazine continued its successful marketing platform, the WaterWorks Project, for the third consecutive year, selecting community gardens in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Atlanta to receive water conservation systems and grants for a garden beautification and community education day.
- Paid subscriptions in 2009 increased 22.6% over 2008, and single copy sales for the year were up 2.4% over 2008.
- Organic Gardening received Gold Awards for Best Magazine (July 2008 issue) and Best Magazine Writing for “Rain Check” in its August-October 2008 issue from the Garden Writers Association’s 2009 Media Awards.
- In May 2009, Ethne Clarke was named Editor-in-Chief. She is an internationally known, literary award-winning author of more than 15 books on gardening, gardening design, and landscape history.
Five international editions launched in 2009-including Prevention Australia, Women’s Health South Africa, Women’s Health China, and Women’s Health Philippines. Despite the downturn in the economy, Rodale International has extended its reach into events, licensing, e-commerce, and direct marketing, and has seen growth across several brands in markets around the world. Highlights include:
- International editions of Men’s Health boasted a strong performance in 2009. Men’s Health UK became the #1 men’s magazine in the UK and also recorded its 16th consecutive circulation increase, according to ABC. Men’s Health Germany and Men’s Health Australia also became the #1 men’s magazines in their respective countries.
- Women’s Health Australia experienced the second largest readership increase of all consumer magazines in Australia and now has its highest readership figure ever. The edition also won the award for best magazine in the health and family category at the inaugural Australian Magazine Awards in Sydney.
- Runner’s World UK, which has had 15 consecutive subscription increases, according to ABC, became the largest sports magazine in the UK.
About Rodale Inc.
Rodale is a global media company with a heritage, mission, and authority dedicated to the health and wellness of the individual, community, and planet. Through a broad portfolio of leading media properties, Rodale reaches more than 70 million people around the world through multiple distribution channels, including magazines, books, online, e-commerce, direct-to-consumer, and video. The company publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, and Organic Gardening, and is the largest independent book publisher in the United States, with a collection of bestselling titles, including Vice President Al Gore’s Our Choice, Flat Belly Diet!, and Eat This, Not That! Rodale is also a leader in direct-response marketing and has more than 25 million active customers in its database. www.rodale.com