Magazines set to grow exponentially over the next three years, according to B&T’s mad uncle Alfie. Oh, and magazine poster boy, Tyler Brûlé set to deliver keynote at DAZE forum…
If you’re an avid gardener like me you’ll know that when it comes to seeds no matter how much you mulch, poison and pluck, some little bastards will always keep growing.
The same can be said for print publishing. Sure, it’s pretty easy to decimate the big weeds with some of Bunning’s finest and a whipper snipper but you can’t kill the ones with the funky roots that run underground.
Recent media news of Pacific Magazines closing four magazines this week and losing their CEO, coupled with Fairfax finally officially signalling the closure of its weekday newspapers has many once again beating the drum and yelling the decade old chants of “print is dead”.
But strangely it seems print still pushes through in the right circumstances.
Founder of Wallpaper magazine and Monocle, Tyler Brûlé is one publisher that has enjoyed substantial growth during the decade of print decline.
The Monocle brand has grown far beyond a series of ads with editorial on the back of them. It now transcends print, radio, retail, and digital with offices throughout the world. In 2014 an investor valued the brand at £70 million and it is one of the leading lights in the content marketing space.
Speaking exclusively to B&T last year Brûlé said, “We have been living with the shiny new object of various feeds and aggregators and various channels that keep us up to date around the clock but I think there is also a fatigue to all of that as well and that is where a lovely magazine comes in … in that you don’t need to plug it in, it doesn’t need solar panels, it is not going to beep, rattle or vibrate.”
It is no secret that for the Monocle brand, print is very much one of the major revenue drivers and the foundation of the brand which now spans partnerships with ANZ. Ultimately though for Brûlé little can replace the aesthetic of a magazine.
“It was very hard to replicate Monocle in a digital print format – it’s thick, it’s robust it’s bookish, it’s a lot of imagery. And it just stuck us that we would probably wouldn’t see that many readers that would want to trade their monthly print magazine for something like that on a backlit screen, nevertheless we did think we had to do something where we could extend our brand into the digital environment” he said.
The object of regrowth and reinvention has become a trait of Brûlé and Monocle as the two ultimately relied on delivering content creatively via innovation through a variety of channels as technology enabled it.
The theme of highly engaging content delivered through premium print mediums is a trend that the IVE group owner of a Blue Star Group has seen develop over the past few years.
Natalie Taylor, the National Sales Manager for Blue Star WEB said, “What we’re seeing is the publishers of mid sized publications grow rather than contract. The mass market titles in which content can be reached online certainly under some pressure, however the smaller / mid scale niche and targeted markets are doing really well.
“The magazines in which print runs are growing are those that invest in their quality and creative approach to producing a magazine – we enable brands to think differently. The strength and cut through in print is still very strong especially those that give their advertisers creative innovation within those titles like pull out guides, gatefolds and interesting tactile ideas…vs static adverts,” she continued.
Meanwhile IVE itself is focusing heavily on reinventing itself beyond an inky warehouse into a business that enables brands to communicate beyond the pages of a traditional magazine.