How NewBeauty is using the Niche Trend to Redefine Mass Market Success

Millennials seem to garner the lion’s share of attention in the magazine world these days. Aside from iconic Baby Boomer brands like AARP and their fantastic print magazine, the newsstand reads like a social media profile of a younger audience base.

That’s why the focus of NewBeauty is so refreshing. 

“There’s so much emphasis on chasing Gen-Z and Millennials,” said NewBeauty’s president Agnes Chapski in an interview with Folio:’s Greg Dool. 

“There is a mass segment of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers and women in their 30s or 40s or 50s that is completely being ignored from a media perspective,” Chapski tells Dool. “NewBeauty speaks to that consumer, so we see a phenomenal opportunity, particularly since these women are the ones who have the money to spend.”

That focus is influencing editorial direction – Chapski recently hired former Elle beauty director Emily Dougherty – and their overall brand outreach.

As the self-proclaimed “beauty authority,” Chapski believes they need to own that brand tagline “in a way that is legitimate and authentic, making sure that everything we do is done through that lens.

“We want consumers to discover new products, but they have to have efficacy and solve a woman’s problem. We’ve vetted these products, and we have a very different way that we go out to market with our credentialing. There has to be authenticity to it,” she insists.

As for print, they are clearly committed to the medium, even as they expand their business model into multi-channel revenue streams. And they are doing it right, understanding that print audiences are often the most powerful targets for brands. 

Chapski recognizes that the trend in mass market beauty titles is to go thinner, and she rejects that idea for their print product.

“And [it’s] not just thinner, look at their trim sizes. It’s alarming,” she notes. “And they’re cutting back issues. We’ve always been a quarterly, and we are robust. We charge our consumer $10 to buy us, and she expects a robust experience if she’s spending that kind of money. The circulation departments at Sandow make money. If you’re a marketer, don’t you want to know that the consumer sees value in a media brand?”

That value, she insists, comes in the form of print, especially in their market. 

“Print is not dead,” Chapski says. “Marketers abandoned print, not consumers. If you look at the successful print brands that are out there, they’re very focused on passion points. Travel is doing very well. Food is doing well. And those brands are charging the consumer for it.”

With ad-funded online journalism falling off a cliff this year, one of the three big truths publishers must accept is that quality really does matter. Scale, naturally, is important to revenue, but chasing scale for its own sake isn’t the answer.

For NewBeauty, the “quality over quantity” mantra is working. 

“We’re not beholden to having to charge a dollar an issue just so we can capture ad dollars. Of course I want advertising. I think these brands do very well when they come and advertise with NewBeauty, but we aren’t beholden to just advertising,” she explains.

“I think what makes us healthier and more resistant to fluctuations that occur in the marketplace is the fact that we’ve diversified. Even online, we just hit an all-time high in January of 1.1 million uniques. That’s pretty big for a niche brand. We have lots of plans to grow that too, but we have to stay true to our mission and our consumer. We don’t invest in tons of SEO or anything like that; these people are coming to us organically.”

What can we take away from NewBeauty? Regardless of size, they are treating their audience the way a niche publisher would — quality writing, editorial integrity, and a tightly focused brand voice that resonates. In many ways, they are leveraging the niche trend in women’s titles to redefine what it means to be niche in the mass market.

This focus on the audience is truly the key to thriving in this new golden age for magazines, and it looks like NewBeauty is getting it very right.