Media Analysis: Top 10 media brands of 2007

Marketing identifies the year's best performers, united by their innovative content and strategies.

1. ITV2

2007 has undoubtedly been ITV2's year. In September, it reached a watershed by winning a greater share of 16- to 34-year-old viewers than rival Five for the entire month. Under the guidance of marketing director David Pemsel, ITV2 has developed a distinctive brand proposition and identity targeting this key demographic. Original, risque content such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl, starring Billie Piper, combined with US acquisitions, including cult hit Entourage, have ensured the it has achieved standout. Piper may have had mixed reviews for her portrayal of high-class hooker Belle, but the show posted the channel's highest audience of the year at 1.9m.


The pink-Champagne corks have been popping at IPC's swanky new headquarters in Southwark for good reasons. This year its women's weekly Look posted a remarkable debut ABC circulation of 318,907. Although some predicted that the title would fail before it even hit the shelves, it has carved out a genuine niche in the market - building up a loyal following of fast-fashionistas.


No list of the year would be complete without Facebook. The social networking site has experienced phenomenal growth and now has more than 57m users, having recorded an average of 250,000 registrations a day in 2007. Ambitious marketers and new business directors have turned 'pal poaching' - adding your friend's friends to your own to appear more popular/successful - into an art form.


2007's new kid on the block, Setanta, successfully staged an audacious assault on Sky. Its subscriber base has grown to 3m during the year, partly helped by a partnership with Virgin Media. This month, the pair launched a rolling sports news channel to take on Sky Sports News, and from next August, Setanta's joint £425m deal with ITV will allow it to broadcast live England football friendlies and extensive FA Cup action.


While rival News International's thelondonpaper and its Associated stable-mate London Lite may have grabbed the headlines, Metro is the one raking in the revenues. Agencies have described the newspaper as 'vibrant and growing', and this year, the title has increased both its circulation, to 1.36m, and its advertiser base. In 2008, its aim is to overtake the circulation of Trinity Mirror - a target it seems right on track to hit.


Dennis Publishing has described The Week as one of the 'best-kept secrets' in magazines - but in 2007 the secret was well and truly out. The weekly current affairs title, which condenses the best of British and foreign media into 35 pages, has won legions of fans. The magazine recorded an impressive 19% year-on-year increase in circulation in the August ABCs to reach a respectable 143,700.


Last year's inclusion of the word 'Google' as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary has confirmed that the search-engine brand is here to stay. It has become such an ingrained part of popular culture that celebrities readily admit to obsessive 'googling' of their own names. The brand, now synonymous with search, has also continued to post strong financial results.

8. GQ

Headlines predicting the demise of men's titles are nothing new, but the hammering sustained by the sector in the August ABCs made the continued success of Conde Nast's GQ even more exceptional. The title's circulation, which is fairly steady at 127,886, is now higher than IPC's Loaded - a notable achievement, considering the latter is the original lads' mag.


In a mixed year for commercial radio, Virgin Radio emerged as a star performer, benefiting from its continued investment in live music and by getting closer to its listeners via an increased focus on digital media. The station grew its total audience by nearly 200,000 across the year, up from 2.34m to 2.53m. It is the rock station's highest reach since 2004.

10. THE O2

From inauspicious beginnings in its first incarnation as the Millennium Dome, the relaunched O2 is becoming a turnaround story. This year, acts including Prince and Take That have performed in the stadium and, with 1.4m tickets sold by the end of 2007, the venue has become the corporate-hospitality hotspot.


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