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Celebrity-oriented news sites have grown substantially over the past year — *comScore* says the category’s traffic has grown 31 percent fro…

Celebrity-oriented news sites have grown substantially over the past year — *comScore* says the category’s traffic has grown 31 percent from May 2007 to May 2008. So while the space has been identified with TMZ, Gawker and PerezHilton, which tend to zero in on the more sordid aspects of the rich and famous, People.com editor Mark Golin and Fran Hauser, People Digital’s president, insist that their site’s softer touch not only resonates with readers more, but it keeps advertisers open to new initiatives as well. Note: Hauser is speaking at our EconCeleb conference later this month in Hollywood, talking about, what else, celebrity content and transforming the brand into digital platforms. The full interview with Golin and Hauser after the jump.

Games People.com plays: One of the new initiatives that People.com unveiled this past week is its new Games channel. Launching with six games, such as Celebrity Trivia, Hollywood Hangman, Love Connection and other fun revolving around entertainment, the channel is part of what Golin and Hauser say is a key part of the site’s growth strategy. Hauser: “We

  1. It's nice to see People getting hip to the value of content (i.e. games) that's more interactive than simply putting its off-life pictures and text content onto the Internet. This trend is going to continue for magazines and offline pubs, with interactive tools and games becoming more prevalent as they discover their stickiness (as has Meredith with BHG.com and Hearst with Cosmo, etc).

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