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Royal wedding mania means big bucks for media companies

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When Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle tie the knot on May 19, they’ll be live on news networks across the globe and plastered across the covers of special magazine issues.

Royal weddings, with their pomp and splendor, only come along every so often — and media companies are making sure they rake in every last dollar available.

“The potential for revenue generation wrapped up in a royal wedding is huge and it runs into the multi-millions,” said Mike Bloxham, senior vice president of global media and entertainment at the media advisory firm Magid. “There is no end of things that creative media owners and creative ad sales teams can do to generate significant revenue.”

The wedding is a welcome respite for print and digital media companies that have encountered a tough ad market in recent years. For network TV and cable news networks that have been buoyed by political drama in Washington lately, the royal wedding opens up new categories of advertisers that otherwise tend to avoid the news.

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The stars have aligned for media companies in a few ways. Interest in the British royal family is at a high point, thanks to no shortage of recent storylines, including Kate and William’s new baby boy, Queen Elizabeth II’s 92nd birthday and even the death of the Queen’s last corgi. The inclusion of an American may boost ratings and readership to new heights.

If that wasn’t enough, the wedding is on a Saturday in May, a time that doesn’t normally draw major audiences, offering TV companies a chance to maximize their income.

“Not only is it a rare event, it’s also being aired on a Saturday morning, giving more Americans the opportunity to tune in,” said Ashwin Navin, chief executive of the data firm Samba TV.

While Prince Harry isn’t directly in line for the throne, his marriage to Markle, who appeared on USA Network’s legal drama “Suits,” is sure to excite more Americans than previous royal events. Markle is biracial, divorced and had a successful TV career before she met Prince Harry, making her a relatable future royal.

“Obviously the royal family has been seen as distant,” said Julie Alvin, senior digital director of the lifestyle group at publisher Meredith, which houses InStyle and Real Simple magazines among others. “But she seems approachable and not of an impossibly high social tier. A lot of women of color are saying, ‘A woman like me is entering the whitest family on earth.’”

In print, the gold rush has already started. Town & Country has already published “American Princess,” a $13.99 magazine on “her style, her story,” that includes a “photo history of American Royals Past and Present.”

Town & Country’s editor-in-chief, Stellene Volandes, notes the magazine is planning special events with jewelry companies, which are keen to exploit interest.

“That morning the whole world will be in front of their TV and phones waiting to see her emerge,” she said. “There is a huge insatiable appetite from Town & Country magazine readers.”

She said the magazine was already seeing record numbers on its website since news of the wedding was announced. “It’s a great opportunity across all categories,” she said.

Article Source : https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/celebrity/royal-wedding-mania-means-big-bucks-media-companies-n868601?cid=public-rss_20180425