Eye Weekly launches Eye Daily

Eye Weekly is getting more aggressive in seeking out its young, hip and urban demo in the Toronto market. In April 1994, the print pub became Canada's first to go online, and is now upping the digital ante.

Toronto alternative news freebie EYE Weekly is launching a web-exclusive daily content section at eyeweekly.com/daily. The online sub-brand will serve up-to-date news, along with nearly immediate music, theatre, arts and food reviews and city events info, plus daily supplements to editorial features appearing in the newsprint version. Two new blogs – one highlighting city hall issues and the other spotlighting pro sports – are also part of the revamped online package.

EYE Weekly‘s daily content launch is part of a larger strategic move to expand online capacity and readership among the entertainment-savvy urban 18-35 demo. The strategy has included several hires, including dedicated web staff, at the Toronto office. Eye Weekly boasts 284,000 weekly readers (110,000 exclusive to the urban market), most of whom (74%) have a $50,000-plus annual income. Online, the publication’s Thursday street date has led to peaks and valleys in unique visitors, which the Daily is poised to address.

EYE Weekly director of site development and online operations Leslie Andrachuk says the website attracted 14,712 unique visitors on Thursday, Feb. 23 (measured using Google Analytics), and by Sunday the numbers had dropped to about 10,300. ‘We vary from 11,000 up to 17,000 in a very typical week,’ says Andrachuk.

‘For advertisers, the importance (of the daily launch) is that we’re going to create a stable flow of visitors,’ Andrachuk explains. ‘Certainly, with this new daily content, we expect to see the traffic rise. In particular, it will affect our Google ranking. We have really good search results typically, so this will impact the search and the traffic.’

The daily launch will also open up ‘vertical centre’ advertising and sponsorship opportunities. A marketer could sponsor the main Eye Daily page, for example. A different sponsor could support the food vertical centre, meaning users who click on the food daily article are exposed to a menu of similar content.