Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s digital revenues rose 55 percent in Q1 as the company marshaled its print, cable, radio outlets into apps and social media projects. Aside from the surge of digital revenues, the contrast between the interactive effort and the other parts of MSLO’s business was notable, as it appears that media companies appear to be facing a pullback in ad spending.
MSLO’s print magazines experienced a slight 2 percent increase in revenues. While positive, the weakness of that growth suggests that the momentum that magazines hoped to ride following the ad recover that began at the end of 2009 was waning.
Broadcasting revenues were down 35 percent, reflecting the fact that MSLO is essentially still at the start of a new relationship with The Hallmark Channel, and it will take time to move advertisers and audiences over to that venue. The Hallmark deal did come with a $5 million licensing fee for MSLO, which may have skewed things in Q111, since that came in the year-ago quarter..
MSLO has been particularly aggressive in driving premium ad dollars to its digital creations, as well as charging consumers for its related apps. Both Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food magazine apps for the iPad launched in the quarter; both titles are now available in print and digitized formats each month.
Additionally, its “Egg Dyeing 101 from Martha Stewart Living,” an egg-decorating app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, has been a top-seller in the lifestyle category for paid apps on the App Store since launching in late March.