NowGamer launched in February 2009. How has it grown in the last two years?
NowGamer’s growth – percentage wise – has been dramatic. In last 12 months the site has grown over 200 per cent.
You’d expect those kinds of numbers in the first couple of years of launching ,but in real terms we’re now getting nearly 500,000 unique users on the site every month and we’ve also enjoyed record online advertising revenue so far this year. It’s a good start but, ultimately, we’ll only be happy once we’ve broken through that 1,000,000 uniques barrier.
We’ll only achieve this with investment and development of the site, improving the quality of our content and with the continued support of publishers, whom I’d like to thank for their support and helping us get to where we are today.
Where do you think NowGamer fits into an already very established and competitive market?
There are certain boxes that you have to tick if you’re going to be considered on the same level as sites like GameSpot, Eurogamer, IGN and so on. So we absolutely have to give people up-to-date reviews for as many games as we can, on as many formats as we can, and – likewise – we have to bring them the latest news and as much exclusive news as we can.
I like to think the real NowGamer difference is the sheer quality and variety of articles on the site.
We draw on Imagine’s great portfolio and the experience of its writers and magazines, such as Retro Gamer, GamesTM and Play, and this is something that our rivals just can’t do.
What plans do you have to improve NowGamer in the future?
Generally speaking, two years is a good time to take stock of what you’ve done so far, to see what has worked, what hasn’t and make changes that – most importantly – improve your site. We started this process with NowGamer around six months ago and are about to announce what we’re loosely calling ‘NowGamer 2.0’ but is actually a complete revamp of the website. We’ll also be announcing a number of NowGamer-branded digital publications in the near future too.
We’re also looking to expand our pool our contributors – I’m always on the lookout for high quality writers, especially those based in the US, who can give us an international angle.
What are the major changes we can expect from the revamp?
The key thing with this redesign for me was to expand what we can do editorially: to improve the quality and range of features we can create and really take advantage of multimedia.
So that includes integrating movies into news, reviews and features, more HD content, better social networking features and we’ll be able to create bespoke channels that could contain any type of content we so wish.
This all means that we’ll be better equipped to take on the big sites and that’s the ultimate goal for NowGamer – to compete both editorially and in terms of revenue with the UK’s biggest sites.
You mentioned NowGamer-branded publications. Where can we expect to see the brand appear in the future?
In addition to the Imagine iPad apps already available, we’re also working on several projects that combine our print and web content and create new digital brands. These new publications will also help promote our partners’ products to a much wider and much broader audience.
We’re also making some tweaks to our print portfolio to bring NowGamer and our magazines closer together, and offering our readers exclusive, additional online content using QR Code technology.
With a larger, broader and combined audience we can play an increasingly important part in our partners’ marketing campaigns and one that has significant differences to our rivals’ audience.