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Huffington Post Secondary Research



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  • 1. Huffington Post: College Edition Secondary Market Research Shelly de Greeve Roland Gendron Peter Hsu Karlay Tan
  • 2. Contents • Company Background • Demographics / Market Dynamics • Deep Dive - College Newspapers Readership • Industry Overview / Competitive Landscape
  • 3. Company Background • Online news aggregator and original content generator • Founded in May 2005 by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti • Legal filings in Delaware • Headquartered in New York City • Privately owned by Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer • Internet Publishing and Broadcasting: NAICS 519130 & SIC 27419909 • Website Pages include: Politics Media Entertainment Sports Business Living Style Green Technology World Books/NYR Impact Video Blogger Comedy City Guides: Chicago New York Denver Los Angeles (2008) (6/2009) (9/2009) (12/2009)
  • 4. Company Background Source Employees Revenue Huffington Post Employee Demographics 250-1000 band $10 - $50m according to LinkedIn: Dun & Bradstreet 1 $85,000 – 51% male and 49% female Huffington Post 98 listed Undisclosed – Median employee age of 28 11-50 band not referenced – Top school representation from NYU, 20-49 band $5-$10m Columbia University and Graduate School Yahoo! Finance 48 $4m of Journalism 60 not referenced According to, visitors over-index as: – Female – College Graduates – Between the ages of 25 - 64 – Top school representation from NYU, Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism – Without Children – Browse from Work
  • 5. Company Popularity & User Data • 39,642 sites link in to the Huffington Post • Daily traffic ranking over the past six months improved from 450 to its current 136 • Over the past 3 months, it received 4.3-4.6 page views/user for a total site visit of 5.4-5.8 minutes • Within the site, guests visit: • 99.1% - main site • 00.4% - fundrace • 00.3% - images • 00.1% - blogger • 00.0% - feeds, fundrace-origin, and other • #1 blog on Technorati Top 100 blogs • 55,000 followers on Twitter • Almost 87,000 fans on Facebook • Time Magazine placed it in the 25 best blogs of 2009
  • 6. Company Ranking & Traffic Patterns Worldwide Ranking Global Search Popularity Site visits preceded by Site visits proceeded by Last Month – upstream visits to: downstream visits to: 36 US 1 huffington post 21.00% Google 18.02% Google 100 Canada 2 walmart 6.64% Facebook 6.26% Facebook 166 South Africa 3 brittany murphy 5.20% Yahoo 4.30% Yahoo 212 Pakistan 4 jamie jungers 2.22% Twitter 2.49% NYTimes 240 South Korea 5 josyln james 1.90% NYTimes 2.44% YouTube 241 Australia 6 tiger woods 1.74% TMZ 2.25% Twitter 277 UK 7 avatar 1.74% YouTube 2.12% TMZ 406 Netherlands 8 huffington 1.60% People 1.51% People 471 India 9 loredana jolie 1.45% CNN 1.32% CNN 1176 Germany 10 jamiee grubbs 0.97% Wikipedia 1.02% Washington Post
  • 7. Demographics • College Edition targets young adults (18-24) • Adults 18-24 comprise 13% of U. S. population; 18-34 includes 30% of U. S. population • 40% of adults 18-24 are currently enrolled in college – 12 million potential readers and growing! • College students spend an average of 18 hrs per week online; 94% online daily. • Graduates are increasingly retaining contact with their alma mater • Building brand loyalty amongst college students will likely retain readership post graduation
  • 8. Demographics – Population • Ethnically diverse • Largely single population group • Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians overrepresented as percentage of overall group population • Whites declining as % of overall group population (-0.6% in 10 yrs)
  • 9. Demographics - Growth and Segment Internet Use • College enrollment hits all-time high, fueled by community college surge • Tied as top group of internet penetration at 93%
  • 10. Demographics – Trends by Gender and Race • As of October 2008, women comprised 53% of all young college students. (Census Bureau) • Whites are attending college more than ever before • Hispanics trend upward on completing high school, possible indicator of college trends • Blacks are declining in both college and high school graduation since 2007
  • 11. Demographics – Online Behavior • In the past year, the • Primary drivers of online majority of college aged vs retail purchase include: • 84% - Convenience adults have not made • 81% - Lower Prices an online purchase • 54% - Sales Promotions • 54% - TV Ad • 39% - Print Ad • 21% - Radio Ad • Strong opportunity for online sites to supplant more expensive TV/print ads
  • 12. Online Deep Dive – College Internet Users • 33% of college students spend >10hrs per week on-line, 5/15 top uses are news related • Female students show slight edge in most news category activity outside sports and weather
  • 13. Demographics – Social Media Usage • Heavy use of social media among college students creates a network effect for both purchase decisions and viewing habits online – The majority of college students have an active facebook account – College students are overrepresented on twitter, underrepresented in Blogosphere – Young adults value peer input in purchase decisions more than advertisements, print or online. This tendency is more pronounced in young adults than in the overall population. SNS = Social Network Service
  • 14. Current Marketing Opinion on Social Media (B2B) • Despite the cultural phenomenon that Facebook and MySpace have become in the past few years, 55% of top-brand CMOs said they’re not too interested in incorporating social media into their campaigns. • Early adopter strategic opportunity?
  • 15. Deep Dive – College newspapers readership • Despite declines in mainstream newspaper readership, college newspapers are an integral part of students’ lives, with over three-quarters (76%) of them saying they have read their college newspaper in the past month, 55% in the past week. • The college newspaper provides students a wide range of information, including where they seek out advertising information: Close to three-quarters (73%) of readers say they look at the advertisements in their college paper. • Campus news is top of mind, with 90% of those surveyed saying it’s important to find out what’s happening within the campus environs. • Some 44% state that campus newspaper advertising is also information they read and seek out. • Entertainment-related news, sports and current affairs rank as top areas of interest for students. Alloy® Research Study
  • 16. Deep Dive – College newspapers readership • Though internet usage among college students continues to gain strength, the print edition still garners the most eyeballs, with just less than 20% saying they have accessed their campus newspaper online in the past 30 days. • Though just over one-third of students say they read their local, daily newspaper on a weekly basis, the figure pales in comparison to the 79% of students who reported engaging with their daily campus newspaper in the past 7 days. • 53% of students say they read the college paper while on campus; 29% read the paper at home. • Strong pass-along rates: an average of 3.2 students share a single issue. Alloy® Research Study
  • 17. Industry Overview Industry: College news aggregation, forum for college columnists, journalists and students to share news and exchange opinions
  • 18. Industry Overview – College Newspapers • College newspapers squeezed by economic downturns • Declining advertising revenue and increasing cost cutting • Cost cuts may translate to lower quality and lower printing frequency • Although online college newspaper readership is significantly lower, cost of publishing online is lower • 36% of campus newspapers does not have web presence • UWIRE, prior to shutting down had membership of 850 colleges and universities • Opportunity to explore experiences and feedback from members in primary research
  • 19. Competitors – Major Media Websites
  • 20. Competitive Landscape • Publication of Boston Hannah International • Goal of site is to compliment print magazine • 38000 unique visitors in Dec 2009 • College editorial staff gathers relevant news and information to post on site • Website administrators install widget to syndicate The Campus Buzz content College Media Network • Over 3000 student writers and editors, over 600 college newspapers • Over 2 million online subscribers, 5 million monthly unique visitors • Technology based on College Publisher, used by hundreds of US college newspapers Content Offering • Owned by mTVU, which has established network with universities Google News • Major competitor for HuffPost • 16 million unique visitors in Dec 2009 • 3 million unique visitors in Sep 2009 • One-stop shop for Google users • Launched in 2008 • Currently has 8 categories, does not • Does not currently aggregate from aggregate from college newspapers college newspapers • Does not support commenting • 37K followers on Twitter
  • 21. Questions?
  • 22. Appendix - Data Sources • Company Background – Nielsen, college media matters, Alexa, Dun & Bradstreet, LinkedIn, Manta, Yahoo!Finance, Wikipedia, Government, private studies, Newspaper association of America, Mintel, comScore • Demand Estimation – US census, SIC, trade associations, experts, Editor and Publisher (trade assoc.), college publisher, • Monitoring the Environment – press releases, legislation, industry trends, magazine articles, gallup, Pew Internet, Pew social trends,, • Segmentation and Targeting – PRIZM, Adage($), FT($), NAICS, InfoTech trends, Marketing Charts® Epsilon®, Burst ®, Alloy Marketing,, • Business Intelligence Data – competitor press releases, annual reports, marketing spend (Epsilon®), Factiva, FT($), Lexis/Nexis • Paid Sources that would be of interest: • PRIZM Premium (for bohemian segment “16”) – Price not available • College Students : Connecting with the Connected Crowd - $695 • College Students Online: Driving Change in Internet and Mobile Usage - $695