While Meredith is building their newly expanded publishing empire as an advertising platform poised to break the Facebook/Google duopoly, another publisher is taking the opposite approach.
“Bauer Publishing may have hit on a unique formula to beat the ad crunch in the print world: Start a new magazine with zero advertising — but a sky-high cover price,” writes Kevin Kelly in The NY Post.
“Food to Love hit newsstands this week with a $12.99 cover price and initial distribution of 240,000,” he continues, noting that at this time, they aren’t offering subscriptions.
They are taking a page from other niche lifestyle magazines that rely on higher cover prices to fund their special-interest content.
“Rather than go for the lowest price points in the market — as Bauer does with its celebrity titles such as In Touch, Life & Style and the top-selling service title, Woman’s World — the strategy is now to add higher-priced mags to the mix,” Kelly explains.
Bauer’s USA President Steve Kotok confirms the thinking behind this move.
“We’re producing something that is a keepsake, rather than a disposable item,” Kotok said. “This is 120-page, heavy paper stock. It really is a cookbook.”
Food to Love is just one of 41 special interest publications from Bauer expected to hit the newsstands in 2018, after seeing good sales from their SIPs in 2016 & 2017.
“Kotok said so-called special interest publications (SIPs) are one area of growth for the company that continues to rely predominantly on newsstand revenue even at a time when that part of the revenue stream has been plagued by declining sales and fewer retail outlets,” Kelly notes.
Cleary, there is more than one way to make money in print magazines in 2018, a sentiment that keeps echoing around the conference tables and industry blogs. As always, it comes down to knowing what content your audience wants, and delivering it in a big way.