The tech revolution has certainly caused disruption over the last 20 years, but it’s nothing compared to the dust-up happening when The Horseless Age debuted in 1895.
As Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni explains, it was “the first magazine created to cover the world’s transition from horse-drawn conveyances to those powered by the new internal combustion engine.”
The magazine, which changed its name to Automotive Industries (AI) more than 100 years ago, is still publishing in print and still providing global coverage on the automotive industry. For John Larkin, current brand publisher, the print platform for their magazine serves as the basis for all else.
“The way I see her future, including her print future, is that everything we do in print, of course we do in all formats,” Larkin said in an interview with Husni. “So today I feel that the print side is only one percent of the distribution, even less than one percent. However, I use the print side as the key to everything else.”
Larkin says the key is the way they use a print ad purchase to give their ad partners cross-platform exposure.
“We use the advertising revenue, one purchase, one advertisement, which is in print, we use that to trigger pretty much all of our revenue,” he told Husni. “We have subscription revenue from collectors, from universities, from libraries, this may transition as we get more knowledge, at the moment we allow one advertisement purchase. This gives our customers print exposure, it gives them web banners, and it gives them an opportunity for an editorial partnership. So we just ask for one purchase, one ticket to the party and we give them full exposure.”
Perhaps the reason this magazine has survived the turmoil and disruption of the last 128 years is that they seek first to share news and insights on mobility, a human longing that goes back to our ancient ancestors.
“From the time the caveman and cavewoman were sitting under the stars around their campfire, we’ve always dreamt about mobility, getting from A to B, whether it’s going to Mars with the Tesla and Elon Musk, mobility is a dream,” Larkin notes. “I love it when a carmaker brings out the most amazing vehicle and he displays it at one of the trade shows. Yet seconds later, the designers and engineers are already working on the next idea. It’s without end.”
With an editorial mission this clear, and a commitment to truly beneficial ad partnerships, perhaps the magazine itself will be without end … or last at least the next 125 years.
A very happy anniversary to Automotive Industries, and may the wheels keep rolling on!