2012 Media Players of the Year Shortlist: TC Media

November 13, 2012  |  Chris Daniels  |  Comments

The 10 companies shortlisted for Media Player of the Year in Marketing’s Nov. 19 issue were at the top of their game in 2012. We’ll be featuring each one online as a lead-up to our January 2013 issue, where you’ll find out which media company will reign supreme

The company formerly known as Transcontinental got a new brand and a new attitude toward innovation, producing content that clicks with consumers.

Most traditional media companies have struggled to reinvent themselves.

This year TC Media actually pulled it off, turning the brand known until late last year as Transcontinental Media into a media and interactive marketing solutions provider.

The “TC” in TC Media stands for “technology” and “community,” two areas that have helped the Montreal-based company engage audiences in new ways and offer advertisers new opportunities.

On the technology side, TC Media has created a number of innovative mobile apps for both its brands and partners.

On behalf of Stationnement de Montréal, which manages municipal paid parking, TC Media developed P$ Mobile Service, which allows motorists to pay their parking fees through a mobile app. As of September, P$ Mobile Service had generated more than 100,000 transactions and more than 42,000 people have downloaded the app. TC Media hasn’t started selling ads on it yet, but plans to soon.

Also this year, the digital team introduced mobile apps in the food category, one of TC Media’s strongest content verticals. Apps On the Table and its French equivalent, Quoi Manger, curate content and recipes from key TC brands, including Canadian Living and Coup de pouce.

Mobile apps represent just one of the ways TC Media is expanding content delivery through digital media, explains Bruno Leclaire, TC’s SVP of digital solutions. “We can now offer more and more sophisticated multiplatform integrations with web, mobile and social media,” he says.

TC Media also expanded its premium digital network by more than 50%—particularly in the categories of women, fashion and beauty, and home and garden—thanks to new agreements, including a majority-stake acquisition of Redux Media. The network now includes more than 3,500 websites which reach in excess of 18.7 million unduplicated unique visitors per month. Thanks to the acquisition, as well as internal growth, TC Media’s digital media advertising revenues have increased by 33% in the past year.

“TC Media has been strong in the digital arena for many years,” says Michele Beaulieu, managing director, client leadership and operations for Mindshare in Toronto. “Now with their extensive site network, we’re able to balance efficient CPMs with effective targeting through their strongly branded sites.”

Even as it expands into digital channels, TC Media continues to invest in its flagship print titles—with successes that buck the industry norm. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for the first six months of the year, single-copy sales surged 8.2% for Canadian Living to 123,209 copies, leading all titles in the study.

Elle Canada also saw a single-copy sales increase of 2.7%. The August 2012 issue also generated newsstand sales of more than 108,000 copies, making it the biggest-selling Elle Canada issue in a decade. The issue’s cover story, celebrating the marriage between Quebec personalities Véronique Cloutier and Louis Morissette, was promoted in print as well as social media, email, web and video—-before, during and after the edition was released.

“The printed version is still a viable and vibrant format that women want, are paying for and are investing their precious time in,” says Beaulieu. “By having strong brands, it will enable faster adoption and success with TC Media’s tablet launches and foray into other channel opportunities.”

That includes TC Media’s bold move into broadcast with TC Media Production, a production house that will make content for TV in addition to on-demand content for web and mobile media. The production house is led by Philippe Lapointe, who was brought on as president, multiplatform development solutions, recruited from Groupe TVA late last year. Productions include Ça commence bien !, a live morning show on V, and Déficit Zéro, a personal finance show which will premiere on Télé-Québec in January.

As far as reinvention goes, this one looks pretty successful.

To read more about the companies that made the Media Players of the Year and Marketers of the Year shortlists, check out Marketing’s Nov. 19 issue, which is on newsstands now.

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