40 Years of Helping Us Unplug

It launched in 1977, but Outdoor magazine’s message of the value of an outdoor lifestyle has never been more needed. And as they approach their 40th year in print, they are poised to celebrate with a commemorative book.

“Arriving in September, A View from the Edge of the World — the first book produced under a three-year deal with Rowman & Littlefield’s Globe Pequot Press — aggregates the very best of Outside’s 40-years’ worth of outdoor adventure photography,” writes Greg Dool in Folio.

“For me, the essence of Outside is photography and long-form journalism,” editor-in-chief Chris Keyes told Folio. “We have all of these stories online, but to reach readers in a different format is really important to us, and to be in as many places as we can to expand the brand.”

Outside is a classic example of a legacy print title turned multimedia brand, and Dool picked Keyes’ brain on how they can continue to serve their core audience, and expand.

“With all the incredible growth we’ve seen online, we’re really reaching two different audiences. There’s obviously some cross-over, but it’s an opportunity to reach a lot of readers who wouldn’t recognize us or might never pick up a print magazine,” Keyes explains.

“It’s the same with our readership. We’ve always had a core male readership, but women make up at least 50 or in some cases more than 50 percent of outdoor participants. And we want to reach them,” he continues.

Like any successful media venture, Keyes believes their success comes down to great storytelling.

“A great story transcends any core audience. As long as we’re looking for that and serving that in our feature well, I don’t think it’s as much of a challenge,” Keyes notes.

“We’re about a lifestyle, living healthy, having as many outdoor experiences as we can, and we’re living in a time when people are more and more hooked up to their technology, which is great in a lot of ways, but we’re seeing this overwhelming need among the American populace to kind of find an antidote to that,” he continues.

Again, the subject of lifestyle magazine comes up, which has been a recurring theme for us around here. And their expertise in the niche has allowed the team to expand into lucrative branded content work.

“Sam [Moulton] was an editor here for eight or nine years and wanted to try something different. He really has the storytelling chops to translate those messages into branded content,” Keyes notes, explaining that Outside’s position as a true lifestyle enthusiast with long-form storytelling expertise is what appeals most to their brand content clients.

As digital everything begins to take over more and more of our everyday life, surely the outdoor lifestyle message is resonating deeply to many of us. We wish them all the best as they hit their 40 year landmark, and we’ll be watching for the book to arrive!