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January 09, 2007

Hot on Teens: Hearst Ties the Knot with eCrush.com

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 1/09/2007 01:53:00 PM
Hearst magazine has acquired teen social network eCRUSH.com for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase--along with social networking plans for many of Hearst's titles--stems partly from high demand for teen-targeted ad inventory, said Chuck Cordray, vice president and general manager of digital media at Hearst.

"We certainly could have used the additional inventory during the last half of 2006," said Cordray. "There's a lot of demand to reach teens online."

Launched in 1999 by music marketing entrepreneur Clark Benson and Northwestern University fund-raiser Karen DeMars, eCRUSH was designed with viral marketing in mind, as members can send email "crushes" to non-members, who must then register with eCRUSH to digitally unmask their admirers.

More than one million unique users visit the eCRUSH Network of sites each month and 90% are 13 to 19 years old, according to internal metrics. Also, eCRUSH claims about 2.4 million registered users. Hearst's EBITDA--earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization--came to $1.4 million in 2006.

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