Travel Industry Site Skift Debuts Print Magazine

[responsive]skifttravel[/responsive]Early adopters go out on the limb; it’s what they do and what they love. We expect it, and we appreciate that their risk-taking makes it easier for the rest of us to follow.

And so it is with digital companies who have made the leap to printed magazines. They tested it, they risked it, and it’s working — so much so that it’s becoming less of a “trend” and more of “the thing to do next” for digital companies looking to expand their audience and grow their sales.

The latest to launch is Skift, a travel industry B2B site. Their new magazine comes out next week, according to Nicole Levy in Capital New York.

Levy interviewed Skift’s Rafat Ali, who told her that their new magazine is based on the site’s annual travel trend forecasts, “by far the most popular thing we do every year.”

Ali continued, “We sort of took the next logical step and said we should create something even more permanent than that, which is a print magazine that sort of encapsulates what we’re trying to do in terms of making a definite document in trends in travel.”

Skift joins digital-first companies like AirBnb, Bonobos, The Standard Hotel and others that are turning to print as a strategic marketing opportunity.

“For now, Ali views the print product … as a marketing tool to attract potential advertisers, clients and readers, rather than a new ad revenue stream,” Levy explains, adding that the VC-funded company earns its bread and butter through the sale of “trend reports, branded content, and conference tickets.”

But “advertisers still love print magazines, and they love seeing themselves in [them],” Ali said, adding that the first issue of the magazine is sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, travel tech company Amadeus and Expedia’s corporate travel arm, Egencia. Clearly they’ve got some big names on board, demonstrating the continuing allure that print has for advertisers.

Just a few months ago we might have said that we hope the “trend” continues. Now it’s becoming a given that print is an important best practice to any company’s game, digital or otherwise. Print on.