High-end digital publishers discover a new platform: print
Print media might be in decline, but luxury-focused publishers – even a few digital native ones – are getting increasingly physical.
This month, high-end watch publisher Hodinkee launched the first issue of a new biannual magazine, and women’s publisher Goop’s first print issue also hit newsstands. Standout luxury publisher Monocle, which has expanded past its magazine into radio and e-commerce, debuted a weekly summer newspaper as well.
All three are niche products aimed at small, well-heeled audiences. But they also prove that print still offers stability and opportunity for luxury publishers, something that’s especially valuable in an increasingly grim-looking digital ad market.
“We can’t compete with Google and Facebook [for digital revenue], and we don’t want to,” said Andrew Tuck, the editor of Monocle. “There’s this growing realization that the likes of Google and Facebook and Instagram are not playing a fair game. Until that relationship gets worked out, [publishers] have to think more about this.”
Print advertising is in an indisputable decline. U.S. newspaper ad revenues decreased 12 percent in 2016, sliding to $12 billion, while American magazine ad revenues fell 9 percent to $8.5 billion; 10 years ago, print advertising represented $43 billion and $19 billion, respectively, for those two industries, according to research published by Magna Global.
However, money is flowing out of the market unevenly. Even though some brands are putting ever-growing shares of their marketing budgets into digital, luxury brands still dedicate sizable chunks of their ad budgets to appearing on the pages of magazines.
“Print’s never going to go away for luxury advertisers,” said Damali Campbell, the print investment lead at the media agency Assembly.
But print and digital publishing are different animals, and they require different kinds of talent across the board, from writing to design to distribution. In most cases, that work can be outsourced. Goop, for example, let Condé Nast take the lead on art direction, ad sales and distribution duties. Freelance contributors wrote a lot of the features.
“We don’t really do traditional, reported features [on our site],” said Elise Loehnen, Goop’s chief content officer. “We’d rather just publish full transcript Q&As.”
The publishers have a lot of experience to draw on, however, when it comes to selling the magazines. While all three have some physical distribution partners, Hodinkee, Monocle and Goop all have substantial e-commerce businesses, which gave them good consumer bases to target from the start; Hodinkee sold 20 percent of its first issue’s run through its own website within 48 hours of putting it on sale.
They also had established brand relationships they could use to sell ad space. To capture brands’ attention, Monocle and Hodinkee dangled involved, exclusive opportunities. Every advertiser in Monocle’s newspapers, for example, got category exclusivity. In Hodinkee’s first magazine, a 160-page fall issue, there were just seven advertisers, each with their own spread.
While the publishers were newcomers to print, each brought a credibility. “Advertising demand for this product was actually really high,” said Matt Starker, Condé Nast’s gm of digital, adding that he sees a future in offering these services to third-party digital publishers. “This is definitely a model we can replicate.”
Advertising, mired in racism, has a long road to recovery
Companies need to respond to the racism row with genuine intentions or not participate in the conversation at all, anything in between can be very disingenuous.
‘The boundaries have broken’: Employers deal with the reality of workers bringing their ‘whole selves’
ven as employers have touted “bring your whole self to work” theorems over the past couple of years, it’s forgotten that that privilege has only really been afforded to a few. For many, bringing your whole selves to work isn’t an option. And the realities of the current work-from-home brigade mean that many haven’t been given a choice: When work is literally in your home, how do you keep it at arm’s length?
How publishers are changing branded content operations to remotely produce high-res campaigns
By using emerging technology like camera drop kits to ensure higher resolution content, branded content studios are able to ensure clients achieve brand safety.
SponsoredVideo: Marketers discuss the future state of less interruptive in-stream ads
In a new video, experts from GumGum, The Martin Agency and Pinterest discuss the future of video advertising — and outline their vision for how video ads can be less disruptive.
MediaMath explores a possible sale
The ad tech company is working with investment bank Centerview Partners on the process -- which could also include a debt refinancing -- according to people familiar with the matter.
Member ExclusiveWith the latest crisis, media needs to back up words with actions
For the media industry, this was a week of introspection -- and a time of decision. For all the progressive ideals espoused by publishers, marketers and agencies, most fall well short when it comes to turning words into action.