Back in the pre-internet days, New York made millions on personal ads. Then the web arrived, and sucked that revenue stream dry.
On Monday, the magazine is venturing back into the personals territory in a big way.
The idea started back in February when Brian Schechter, co-founder of HowAboutWe.com, met with NYMag.com general manager Michael Silberman.
The magazine had a personals section on the site, but it was underused and Silberman’s team didn’t allocate any resources to promoting the venture.
In HowAboutWe.com — a site that asks people to write date ideas — he saw a potential for greatness.
“In retrospect, the personals section was an obviously place to look for new revenue streams and new features, but not one where we had built up much expertise,” Serena Torrey, New York Media’s executive director of business development, told The Wire on Friday afternoon.
Four months later, the idea is a reality.
The site will live within NYMag.com, and it will be “heavily” promoted by email blasts, banner ads, pages in the print magazine, and other outlets, Torrey said. Each listing on NYMag.com will include links to the dating site as well, which will help facilitate movement between people looking for things to do (in the listings) and someone to do them with (the personals).
New York and HowAboutWe.com will split revenue from any subscriptions 50/50. The year-old startup will also receive money when people pay to message each other.
“It’s the cheapest high-end dating site out there,” Schechter told The Wire on Friday.
HowAboutWe.com about to get a whole lot bigger with the help of New York. They are in the business of creating great relationships, after all.
(The above cover is from a 1984 issue of New York featuring the story “Strictly Personals.“)
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