Everyday Health is Out to Dominate Media via Video, Apps, and Social

12/8/11Follow @arleneweintraub

When dot-com entrepreneurs Benjamin Wolin and Michael Keriakos founded Everyday Health in 2002, everyone thought they were nuts. Their idea was to take well-known offline brands in the health industry and give them an online presence—a strategy that during the depths of the dot-com bust seemed mighty risky. “When we told people we wanted to start an online-content company they said things like, ‘The Internet is going to go out of business,” recalls Wolin (pictured at right), CEO of New York-based Everyday Health. “I said, ‘Well the Internet’s not exactly a business, but I get your point.’”

Wolin and Keriakos persevered, and eventually won the digital rights to some of the best-known names in health. Everyday Health now operates the websites for more than 35 big names, including South Beach Diet, exercise gurus Denise Austin and Jillian Michaels, and the ultra-popular pregnancy series What to Expect. Today Everyday Health attracts 28 million unique visitors a month across all its sites, making it one of the top providers of online health information, and it generates over $100 million in annual revenues.

But Wolin and Keriakos are well aware that if they want to stay on top of the digital-health world, they have to move themselves—and all their brands—beyond the bread-and-butter website. “When I think about what is going to drive the future of our business, the one thing that hasn’t changed is that consumers want health information from high quality brands,” Wolin says. “But what has changed is that the delivery device is now as much about mobile and video as it is about dot-com.”

So about two years ago, Everyday Health embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to expand its presence across every form of media, from the old (television) to the new (Facebook). Many of those doubters from a decade ago likely took notice on September 12, when the company recruited ABC News veteran producer Paul Slavin to run Everyday Health’s new video studio, which is producing a variety of programs, including a syndicated Saturday morning series it created in partnership with leading TV distributor Litton Entertainment.

Then, on October 13, the company announced that it had been selected by YouTube to launch an original online channel called “Everyday Health TV: Content to Change Your Life.” It’s all a testimony to the company’s ability to adapt to changing times, says Habib Kairouz, a managing partner at Rho Ventures, which invested in Wolin and his team back when … Next Page »

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