Outside Magazine Sees a Massive Bump in Print Numbers

It’s been a fantastic year for Outside magazine. According to Melynda Fuller in Publishers Daily, the title saw a 41% bump in print readership in 2019.

“Each issue of Outside now reaches more than 3.4 million active readers with a median age of 42 — younger than the median age of readers in the competitive set — and median household income of approximately $91,000,” Fuller writes.

What’s behind the rise? According to Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Lawrence Burke, it comes down to recognizing – and committing to serve – audience segments that have traditionally been underserved by the outdoor magazine market. That started to change for the title in 2017, when they published their “XX Factor Issue,” produced entirely by and for women.

“Since women have seen their perspectives reflected in our coverage, we’ve watched our audience expand,” Burke explains. “The majority of our growth this year is, in fact, from female readers. We’ll continue to shine a light on women in the outdoors and other communities that have not been represented accurately in the industry,” Burke told Publishers Daily.

Their digital numbers are climbing too, thanks in large part to the way they addressed the sexual harassment that was happening on their social media channel. Women saw the brand’s response, and appreciate it.

“Recently, Outside has looked to expand coverage of other overlooked communities, including people of color, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community,” Fuller reports.

“These communities represent a vibrant and growing segment of the outdoor industry population, yet are not often reflected in adventure media, industry advertising or the environmental movement,” Burke explains.

Outside gives us a great example of a brand that adapts to changing realities – including their audience make-up – while remaining true to their mission. And the payoff is obvious – that 41% print bump didn’t come out of thin air, but out of respectfully delivering on the brand promise to a wider audience. Well done.