Martha Stewart Turns To iPad Editions, Video As Revenues Fall

As revenues fall, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) plans to focus on some digital initiatives at its magazines, including releasing iPad editions of Whole Living and Martha Stewart Weddings by the end of the year.

In an investor call following its Q4 2011 earnings report this morning, MSLO president and COO Lisa Gresh said the company has “focused too much on cross-brand selling.” Revenues were $61.7 million for the quarter, compared to $72.6 million this time last year.

Publishing revenues were down to $38.8 million, from $44.6 million last year. Gersh attributed the declines to lost advertising revenues. Print ads were down 15 percent for the quarter compared to last year, primarily due to a decrease in ad pages in Martha Stewart Living, and digital advertising revenue was down 7 percent for the quarter, though it increased by nine percent for the full year.

The company plans to escalate its focus on digital ad sales. MSLO’s digital readership is still small: About three percent of subscribers across Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food are digital-only, and the magazines’ combined digital readership — including print subscribers accessing digital editions, which they can do for free — makes up five percent of total circulation.

In addition to releasing the iPad versions of Whole Living and Weddings, MSLO is digitizing its 2,500 hours of videos. The company is also test-launching a daily video newsletter, “Everyday Food With Sarah Carey,” which includes video demonstrations of recipes, food prep tips and cooking techniques.