The folks at Red Bull have turned the aggressively-marketed energy drink into a media force to be reckoned with. (Who can forget the Red Bull logo plastered everywhere during Felix Baumgartner’s epic sky dive?)
“The drink brand has become a full fledged media company now, producing TV shows, books, music and more, in addition to its branded magazine,” notes D. B. Hebbard in Talking New Media.
Surprisingly though, digital readership of their Red Bulletin magazine is “disappointingly low,” Hebbard notes, citing figures from their first official BPA audit. Considering that their target demographic is a decidedly younger crowd, digital readership should theoretically be substantial, right?
While Hebbard notes that the magazine “reached 527,912 qualified readers with its October issue, making its 520,000 rate base,” digital readership made up just under 5% of that. And digital circulation looks to be decreasing month to month for the last quarter of 2014.
We’ve presented several reasons over the past months why digital magazine readership in general is slack. Hebbard reiterates another huge part of the equation – the digital newsstand crisis. His prediction is chilling for other digital publishers:
“One fears…that at some point, if things do not turn around at Apple soon, that Red Bull Media House may decide to abandon its native digital publishing efforts. Many others have already done so, and if Red Bull can not make a go of native digital editions, who can?”