W Magazine to Get a High-end Makeover

While one publisher is upping the frequency of four of its most popular titles, another is using an entirely different approach to revenue.

According to Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke in WWD, W magazine is “recasting itself as a collectible luxury product.”

“If we believe in magazines, we have to change and adapt to the new world. In the new world, magazines have to be a beautiful product that you want to collect. If we call a magazine a luxury product, it should look like a luxury product,” explained editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi.

Reducing its frequency from 11 to eight for 2018, they are also raising the cover price from $7.99 to $9.99, Bloomgarden-Smoke notes. Along with the new price, they are getting an upgrade in high-quality paper and content that is made to feel more collectible than disposable.

“I am a big believer in print getting printier,” said Chris Mitchell, the chief business officer of the Condé Nast Culture Collection, the parent company of the brand. To that end, the company will be releasing a limited-edition collectible box early next year, to encourage saving the magazines.

“It’s a way to tell people you should collect this, and this is more than a magazine. It’s a statement,” Tonchi explained, of the box. Early advertiser reactions to the changes have been positive. Not surprising, really, as luxury brands know that print magazines are a preferred platform for reaching that high-end consumer.

It’s great to see W embracing the luxury movement in magazine publishing – just as Bauer is embracing what works for them. That’s the amazing thing about this industry. There is no one answer, no “must do it this way” approach. Instead, it’s all about the people you are trying to reach, and publishing the right platform on which to do that.

What’s clear about both approaches is that #PrintRocks for these publishers.