15 Years of Delicious Premium Publishing

For the folks behind News Corp’s Delicious title in Australia, it’s been a case study in audience building tactics.

  • Q: What’s pink and blue and looks good enough to eat?
  • A: The cover of Delicious’ 15th birthday issue. And it’s really something to celebrate.

Two years ago, NewsLifeMedia (a division of News Corps) became the sole owner of the 13-year-old brand Delicious, a premium food title in Australia.

Breaking away from its original partnership with ABC Magazines had its share of challenges, and the creative team worked hard to create a name for itself as a stand-alone brand, explains Miranda Ward in Mumbrella.

Two years on, they’ve done just that. They focused on increasing their lifestyle content (there was “huge demand” for that, according to News Corp’s Food Corp direction Fiona Nilsson) and connecting with their audience in more fundamental ways.

“[Food is] central to so many decisions people make across travel, social lives, connectivity, kitchens, to how they decorate their homes, Nilsson explains.

“Our audience, more so than any, absolutely put food at the centre of their lifestyle, that was a big focus to increase the lifestyle content of the brand,” she continues.

The brand has successfully made the shift from food title to food lifestyle purveyor, and built out an impressive following across platforms.

“We’re actually averaging 4m pageviews and between 400 and 500,000 uniques. In social our target was 500,000 and we’re nearly at a million. It just exploded,” she notes.

In addition to their social growth, the brand has also published a luxury coffee table book (you better have plenty of dessert on hand when guests read this one), and a Delicious Sunday supplement in eastern Australian markets.

Editor-in-chief Kerrie McCallum says “success in social is important considering how competitive the food and lifestyle sector is becoming, with Delicious’ various offerings about pulling in as a diverse audience as possible,” Ward explains.

“Yes we’ve got that very loyal monthly print audience, but equally we need to ensure our future with strong social platforms, a really strong digital platform, the weekly offering in the Sunday masthead is exposing Delicious to a broader audience,” she says.

What about the bottom line? For every publisher, it comes down to the revenue stream. For McCallum, it’s clearly based on a traditional approach – circulation and advertising, and while circulation has dipped recently, renewals haven’t declined at all.

Their brand outreach through social media and through events continues to attract new followers, a critical component to their growth strategy.

“Events we want to build and grow, we’ve started to create more consumer revenue in the last 12 months,” she says, who says events are “a great way to expose people to Delicious and maintain those subscriptions.”

“We’ve signed off on a great partnership with the Australian Turf Club. It’s called The Muse by Delicious as the ATC want to have the races seen as a food-lifestyle destination,” explains McCallum.

Meanwhile the brand continues to look toward the future, hinting at possible TV discussions and expanding their successful video strategies.

“I see very much how this brand would lend itself in a television format. Nicole Sheffield will be the one to make the discussion on which way we go but we have definitely had discussions and it is something I’d love to see happen,” McCallum notes.

The most delicious part of all of this is how the print title has remained at the base of everything brand has done to evolve, in an environment when so many have turned their backs on print.