From Old to Young: How TMBI is Reaching a Younger Audience

If there’s one company that knows about the struggle, it’s Trusted Media Brand Inc. (TMBI). After having recovered from two bankruptcies, the formerly named Readers Digest Association (RDA) knows what it’s like to go from ashy to classy.

After the name change in late 2015, TMBI intended to show the world they did more than make magazines, but that they could handle their own in the world of digital video, typically a younger man’s game. More recently, the company enlisted the help of Arcade Creative Group, a creative and marketing agency born from Sony Music, to help produce scripted series for TMBI brands such as Taste of Home and the Reader’s Digest.

It’s been more than a year since the name change and TMBI’s coming out party at the 2016 Newfronts. According to CRO Rich Sutton, business is evolving to reach a younger generation and a large portion of that credit can be attributed to their digital videos, especially TMBI’s “DIY/How to” videos.

“That young adult just getting married, just having their own kid, they want to fix their own homes,” explained Sutton. “Do-it-yourself is huge, and they’re also concerned how to stay healthy. If you think about our brands in the broadest sense its all food, home, and health.”

Sutton explained that though most of their audience still consisted of Baby Boomers and gen X, the company was now reaching 1 in 3 online millennials ages 25–36 and 1 in 3 moms in the US.

And to increase that reach, the company is tripling down on digital video this year expecting to have 3 to 4 times more video output than 2016, which saw YOY increases in Total Views (+8%) and Average Minutes per Visitor (+12%). This push for digital video can be partially credited to their success at Newfronts last year, where the company launched 6 shows, 5 of them with sponsors.

“NewFronts was a great way for us to say, ‘hey we’re not just telling stories in the written word, we’re also telling stories in video.’”

As a result of TMBI’s first-ever NewFronts presentation, Hungry Jack, the pancake company, signed on as an exclusive sponsor of a custom content digital hub on the Taste of Home website, featuring Taste of Home’s first-ever “Fun with Food!” video series.

TMBI has come along way since their final days as Readers Digest Association. Since 2014, the company has experienced a 55 percent increase in audience and a 103 percent increase in mobile unique visitors. Keeping the momentum going for 2017, they’ve hired on Kari Hodes, from Bloomberg Media, as VP of digital content & audience in hopes of doubling TMBI’s digital content in 2017.

“2016 was a great calendar year for TMBI. We had big year over year increases in digital and we’re able to say something that most publishers aren’t saying— our magazines had a really good year,” boasted Sutton. “And this year is going to be even more exciting.”

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