O at Home redesigns for rate base increase

Hearst Magazines is redesigning O at Home and increasing the title’s rate base.

With its spring issue coming out on March 4, the quarterly has moved its rate base from 625,000 to 650,000. It’s also changing its look and adding some editorial sections to more resemble parent title O, The Oprah Magazine.

“The redesign is to strengthen a strong brand, and the rate base increase is driven by consumer demand and natural circulation growth,” Rick Day, VP, group consumer marketing director of Hearst Magazines, said in an e-mail interview. “We began offering subscriptions in Fall 2005 and, as we enter the third year of subscription marketing, we’re continuing to add new subscribers in addition to the renewals/repeat readership from earlier promotions.”

O at Home depends equally on subscriptions (360,000 in 2007) and newsstand sales (340,000 average), but Day said the company will try to grow subscriptions at a faster rate in the future. For its newsstand copies — which, Day said, enjoy the highest average sales in the category — O deploys two strategies.

O at Home is released at the end of the O sales cycle, so where O, The Oprah Magazine has sold out, its lifestyle-focused counterpart takes over its prominent display spaces. O at Home is also widely distributed at specialized retailers, such as home improvement stores, warehouse retailers like Costco and home décor and craft stores.

To drive subscriptions for O at Home, Hearst relies on online offers, insert cards and targeted direct mail campaigns. The company has an in-house agency in charge of these marketing strategies.

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