Roadkill Hits the Road in Print

roadkillmagFrom YouTube series to a full-fledged print magazine, the guys at Roadkill just keep innovating.

“Video is the future and print is as good as dead, right? But if you’re not a fan of that idea, Roadkill is about to make your day,” notes this sponsored article in Digiday. “What started as a side project for two editors at Hot Rod magazine, a 65-year-old legacy title, has undergone a surprising evolution. Roadkill has gone from a web series to a digital property to a full-fledged print magazine on the strength of its millions-strong digital audience.”

Moving from digital to print isn’t the story in itself these days; witness Pitchfork and as just two examples of print as the “new” new media. “And online retailers Net-A-Porter and ASOS have both embraced the medium as a way to extend their brand to a wider audience,” the article reminds us.

Two things, though, make this story stand out.

“When Roadkill launched in 2012, the Motor Trend YouTube channel had just 150,000 subscribers and was aggressively developing new formats,” the article continues. “Today that channel—still home to the Roadkill show, among many others—boasts more than 3.8 million subscribers and over 1.2 billion views; Roadkill episodes routinely garner more than 2 million-plus views. Even more impressive, those views don’t come from Motor Trend or Hot Rod’s core audience. Roadkill has broken new ground, according to Freiburger, tapping into a viewership from the coveted millennial cohort. Over 65% of Roadkill’s audience is in the 18 – 34 bracket.”

And that audience isn’t about to be told what’s cool or not, and how to consume their content. That attitude makes them the perfect audience for advertisers anxious to engage the next generation of car fanatics, and the print magazine is a perfect vehicle for this.

“For years, they have been asking themselves, ‘Are cars going away, and how do we reach a younger consumer? And this is it,” Hot Rod editor-in-chief David Freiburger, who’s also one of the geniuses behind Roadkill, said. “It’s also interested a handful of high profile advertisers like Dodge, sponsor of the first four issues of Roadkill, along with several branded episodes of the show.”

The creativity and a genuine passion for automobiles that emanates in this content are undeniable, proving once again that if you know your audience, you can build a media brand across channels with print as a vital component.