$100 million for the tabloid. Zero dollars to upgrade their domain name!
The non-sale saga of a premium domain name.
American Media Inc., owner of numerous tabloids (National Enquirer, inTouch, Men’s Journal, etc.) purchased UsWeekly for a reported $100 million in 2017. Unfortunately, AMI does not own the UsWeekly.com domain name. Here is why that is important and what they can do about it…
The internet continues to dominate traditional print media as consumers increasingly go online for their media outlet of choice. They are no longer willing to wait monthly, or even a weekly, for a subscription to access their entertainment and news. As readers overwhelmingly turn to the Internet, so do advertisers, taking publishers’ revenue streams with them. Publishers that successfully adopt the internet and new technology fare far better than those that do not.
UsWeekly sales declined by double digits in both units sold on the newsstand and in revenue per the second half of 2016 and second half of 2017. Additionally, newsstand-dependent celebrity publications declined by nearly 25 percent in units sold on the newsstand.
Statista expects e-magazine readers in the US to increase from 18 million (2015) to 40 million by 2021. A Media Outlook report predicts digital magazine revenues to grow to 30% of total consumer magazine revenues by 2020 (from only 15% in 2015). Print magazine revenues are expected to decline 15% in the same time frame.
As previously mentioned, UsWeekly does not own the domain name usweekly.com nor is it for sale. Us.com is not a solution either unless AMI is willing to pony up to the 8-figure range. As things stand, UsWeekly’s current domain name, usmagazine.com, is a 13-letter nightmare to input. It invites typos and fatigue factor. Plus, usmagazine is not even the name of their publication.
BTW, which had you rather input:
1. Calls targeted to key people within AMI.
2. Letters (with attachments) were mailed to key executives.
3. Even tee shirts (see pic above) were provided!
Price? Infinitesimally cheap relative to their initial print cost. And, the targeted ROI would pay for eUs.com within two years! The “e” advantages were elucidated ref: eBet.com; eTrade.com; eFlowers.com; eBags.com; eSurance.com; etc. Numerous advantages were listed in the accompanying attachment…
- eUs.com provides the shortest route to UsWeekly’s online presence. (The shorter the domain name the more likely people will go to your site.)
- eUs.com provides top-of-mind awareness (stickiness).
- eUs.com is easy to pronounce, spell, read and type.
- eUs.com has broad applicability with high brandability.
- eUs.com is highly cost effective.
- eUs.com is not only easy to input (no typos) and remember but is directly descriptive of UsWeekly’s online presence. (Memory and retention of a brand is critically important.)
- eUs.com is an appreciating investment that you own in perpetuity, not “dead” advertising costs.
- eUs.com increases support for advertiser’s goals and objectives. (Your advertisers will note your ease of online access.).
- eUs.com can strengthen online ad rates.
- An “e” prefixed Us.com will enhance UsWeekly’s ability for future financing/investments and possible IPO.
- Given the importance of mobiles, it’s imperative to have a short domain name such as eUs.com that is easy to type on a small screen
But, unfortunately for them, all these overwhelming advantages proved to no avail.
So, what did I learn from this? One can lead the proverbial corporate horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. The saying “penny wise, pound foolish” also comes to mind. If one has a short, premium, highly brandable domain name there are many other companies/startups that need such a great asset. As domain name expert Josh Reason said, “e + keyword (domain names) continue to sell like hotcakes in 2019”.