MAGAZINES ARE GETTING A LIFE OF THEIR OWN
Magazines had it all. Glossy good looks, adoring fans and hot off the press content for readers’ eyes only. Then along came the internet. Consumers no longer needed to wait a whole month, or week, to get their fashion, celebrity, health or food fix, instead it was right there, at the tip of their fingertips.
Publishing houses rested on their laurels, it took a while for them to embrace digital and expand their offerings online. For some it was too late and, like the high street, household names disappeared forever. FHM and Zoo marked the ended of the lad mag reign and More, Company and New Woman slowly dug their own graves and sidled off never to be browsed again.
Hearst, the publisher of magazine greats like Cosmopolitan, Elle and Good Housekeeping, was one of the first publishing houses to champion the digital era, way back in 2007, and once again it’s challenging the way we consume and appraise its ‘magazine’ brands.
Hearst is now focusing on ‘dynamic distribution’ a new strategy for its brands where events become centre stage.
A recent event, Beauty Unbound, involved brands (and advertisers) such as Estée Lauder and Smashbox, offer makeovers while free Hearst magazines are available for visitors to enjoy.
Held in the atrium at Westfield London, beauty brands set up pop-ups. Customers can grab a Sipsmith gin and tonic at the circular bar or buy a ticket for one of the talks. On their way out, shoppers can pick up a free copy of Red, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle or Esquire.
Anna Jones, chief executive, calls this “dynamic distribution” – taking magazine brands to their audience and inviting some of their best advertising clients along too.
She says “There are a lot of people who have been used to getting content for free, digitally or otherwise,”
“It’s about bringing a magazine to life and our commercial partners want an experiential version of the magazine.”
You can’t beat a good magazine to curl up with so all hail Hearst, long live your magazine brands and may dynamic distribution be the answer your circulations figures have been looking for.