"Hot" is, of course, relative. We reserve the designation for those media brands and media people thriving despite competition, market forces and that bugaboo of every business: the ever elusive consumer. Across weeks, we studied factors including advertising business, audience numbers, category supremacy, creativity, innovation, industry accolades and social buzz.
Hot List 2012
For several weeks, Adweek has polled readers, collected audience and advertising data, and otherwise gauged brand performance and relevance to arrive at this short list of the hottest media properties. Check us out in print, online and via our iPad edition on Dec. 3 for the unveiling of this year's Hot List winners. Print
When Adweek introduced the Hot List 32 years ago, the franchise focused exclusively on consumer magazines and their print ad business. Last year, we jettisoned our original formula to include television and digital media and to consider innovations and metrics beyond just ad revenue—from iPad editions and mobile apps to branded products, streaming sites and cultural influence.
These are the names that dominate publishing—and print is just the beginning. After getting spanked for their slow embrace of digital, magazine and newspaper publishers lately have made up for lost time, cranking out a slew of tablet and mobile editions, e-commerce offshoots, even online games.
Remember when there were just three networks? Neither does anyone else. Cable has long since come to rival (and in some cases surpass) broadcast for prestige programming and ratings darlings—something viewers (and even Emmy voters) have known for some time.
In a digital-centric world, these are the very hottest digital destinations, grabbing the attention of consumers and advertisers alike—from news sites (The Huffington Post, The New York Times) to ascendant social brand (Pinterest and Tumblr), from the most addictive mobile game (Angry Birds vs. Words With Friends) to our favorite time suck (BuzzFeed vs. Gawker).