(Ancestry Blog – January 11, 2016)
2015 has been a great year for Ancestry. We’ve seen incredible successes and momentum, including double digit revenue growth, a net new subscriber base of 150,000 that continues to thrive both in the U.S. and internationally and in just three short years, we’ve become the largest consumer DNA database.
As we embrace a new year full of undiscovered opportunities, we want to take a moment to look back at at some 2015 highlights.
A Standout Year of New Content & Product
One of our most notable initiatives of 2015 was rolling out the broad redesign of our core Ancestry site to allow you to build family stories in a narrative format that is more engaging, story-rich and easier to share with family and friends.
In September, we launched one of our largest collections, bringing more than 170 million U.S. wills and probate records from 50 states and 100 million Americans. We also added a new collection of Mexican records to help Mexican Americans explore their family heritage. All in all, we added more than 700 million total records. Additionally, through a partnership with Gannett, we’re on our way to digitizing more than 80 U.S. newspapers, adding 100-plus million full-page newspaper images, fully indexed and searchable.
Our team has worked hard to streamline and improve the overall Ancestry experience for everyone. While we said goodbye to a few products to better hone our focus, it’s been an incredible year of massive progress, with many other new offerings introduced in 2015 including Ancestry Academy, New Ancestor Discoveries, and we rolled out AncestryHealth in beta, giving a glimpse to the future. We also expanded our international reach with the launch of Mexico and Germany.
AncestryDNA: The One Million Club
We celebrated the incredible achievement hitting One Million genotyped members in our database early in the summer. I’m excited to report that that number has now grown to 1.4 million. An even more impressive stat is that we sold approximately one million DNA kits in 2015 alone. These two accomplishments underscore the growing interest in learning even more about family history and discovering ethnic origins.
Adding to our Rockstar Team
I’m proud to say in all we added more than 200 people globally across all teams. We’re very much looking forward to continuing to expand our team of talented people in 2016 and beyond.
New Marketing Efforts
For the first time, we launched an integrated, multi-product advertising approach including TV spots and a multi-product homepage for non subscribers. In addition, we expanded our TV advertising to include broadcast channels and syndicated programs such as Jeopardy, enabling us to reach an even broader audience.
On the DNA front, we saw a 205% increase during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping weekend and set the record for the number of kits sold in one day, nearly 60,000 globally.
The Year Ahead
This year marks our 20th Anniversary, and we have a lot to celebrate – that’s 20 years of helping customers add more than 70 million family trees, gather 16 billion historical records across 67 countries and collect more than one million genotyped in the database.
Thanks to all of our customers, the Ancestry team, and our partners for making 2015 a great year. We have an amazing journey ahead and I’m excited to bring you along. Here’s to new discoveries in 2016.
About Tim Sullivan
Timothy Sullivan has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Ancestry.com since September 2005. Prior to joining us, Tim was Chief Operating Officer and then President and CEO of Match.com from January 2001 to September 2004. From May 1999 to January 2001, Tim served as Vice President of E-commerce for Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch, Inc. From June 1991 to May 1999, Tim held multiple positions at The Walt Disney Company, including Vice President and Managing Director of Buena Vista Home Entertainment Asia Pacific from July 1997 to May 1999. Tim holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.