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Ninemsn revamps homes website with aim of doubling unique audience within six months

ninemsn homes 2Ninemsn has revamped its homes website as part of an overhaul of its lifestyle offering as it aims to double its unique audience within the next six months.

The new Homes site is part of Ninemsn’s changes to its lifestyle offering kickstarted in April with the launch of Pickle, Coach and Honey.

Emma Chamberlain, Ninemsn managing editor, told Mumbrella the success of fashion site Honey, which she said went to number one and has remained there, has set the goal posts for Homes which is being led by former Bauer Media journalist Danielle Pinkus.

“With the success of Honey going to number one and staying at number one, and Coach also had moments of being number one, Dani is very fired up to do the same,” she said.

In terms of concrete goals Chamberlain said: “We’ll be wanting to double the unique audience, it’s probably around 150,000 (unique users per month) and we want to be double that within the next six months. Dani certainly wants to be out in front of most of her competitors in those first few months.”

The launch comes after competitor Bauer Media launched its digital hub Homes to Love in September.

On how Ninemsn Homes differentiates itself from the huge amounts of homes content available online, Chamberlain said it will be “more of a pared-back style” than other sites.

“We’re going for a unisex, slightly younger audience. The focus will be more on design and architecture. Gardens, and the idea of the urban garden, will be a big focus for us,” she said.

Chamberlain

Chamberlain

“Ninemsn Homes wants to be for those people who want to take part in creating the space that they love. That’s where we’ll differ – highly practical and pared back in terms of the aesthetic.”

Homes, which launches with Ryobi as its advertising partner, is the first site Ninemsn has revamped as part of its lifestyle overhaul, with travel and food to follow which are set to launch early next year.

On how Pickle, Honey and Coach are travelling since their April launch, Chamberlain said the content across all three sites are doing well in terms of audience engagement.

Honey collected Launch of the Year Award at the Publish Awards. It was awesome to get recognised for that,” she said, adding: “The Publish Award was a real motivating factor for Dani – she wants a block of perspex for herself.”

On Pickle Chamberlain said it continues to be a “vehicle for us to drive strong video”.

“Again before the end of the year Pickle will get a refresh of its homepage and do more of the feature writing around what’s happening on social and how that interacts with everyone’s day to day life. There’s bigger plans to expand upon Pickle. In terms of the content it does really well for us,” she said.

Chamberlain denied the refresh of the homepage after just six months indicated any problems with the viral content site.

“If you look at the Pickle homepage at the moment it’s really focused on video. Pickle was intended for stories that get traction on social. Developers call it iterating,” she said.

In terms of how the various Ninemsn Lifestyle content will be distributed, each vertical will aim to be integrated, sharing relevant content from home to travel.

“As part of the process of building the Lifestyle Empire, as it were, we’re going to have content columns or streams of content that feed into the relevant verticals. When we launch Travel, a big part of Travel will be a column from Ninemsn Homes about amazing hotel interiors,” she said.

“We’re calling them sexy content tentacles,” Chamberlain quipped.

“By April next year the Lifestyle sites will all be linked in that way.”

Miranda Ward

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