Print Remains the Anchor for Enthusiast Market

readingmagazineThe publisher of lifestyle enthusiast titles like Yoga Journal, Backpacker and Sail and Climbing says that maintaining their strong print platform is key for growth in other areas like digital and events.

Skip Zimbalist, CEO of Active Interest Media, was speaking to the crowd at Folio:’s recent growth summit, and underscored the importance print as the “bedrock” of their publishing strategy.

Folio:’s Bill Mickey covered the event, quoting Zimbalist as saying “The magazines in each of the groups are the core. They make everything else possible. Our objective is to make the print product grow, in circulation and advertising.”

Mickey notes that the publisher has also upped its investment in direct mail circulation marketing and they are seeing “above budget response rates” that have been “on par with results from the last 10-15 years.”

They’ve also upped the quality of their magazines and worked to backfill circulation losses with digital readership. And, they are expanding their line of titles horizontally, by acquiring Yosemite magazine and using that editorial model to launch new titles for other outdoor areas including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains.

Overall the strategy seems to be working, according to Mickey. “Zimbalist said that several advertisers that had been dormant came back after seeing the improved product. Sunglasses maker Oakley, for one, came in with a $250,000 schedule.”