What the Print Industry Can Learn from GQ Magazine

Written by Zac Johnson
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With so many print and media publications struggling to find success and compete in the world of digital and online media, the success stories are far between. One organization that is doing it right is the popular GQ magazine.

During a recent interview with Bloomberg, GQ Vice President Chris Mitchell shares the companies digital game plan as they continue to expand across several different platforms. The interview is 8 minutes long and we’ve highlighted some of the best findings, tips and strategies than can be used to improve your brands online reach and success.

What the PR Industry Can Learn from GQ Magazine

GQ Interview on Bloomberg

During the interview Chris Mitchell talks about how GQ has not only stood the test of time through the transitions from just print to digital, but also that they are now doing better than ever and their content is now spread across seven different platforms.

“the doomsayers were predicting that the internet would put magazines out of business, and the internet has made our business better than ever” – Chris Mitchell

GQ has just closed out their best quarter ever, which is due in part to them being able to monetize their content across seven different platforms — which includes print, online video, ipad/digital subscriptions, youtube and more. More online readers are migrating to print and GQ now has more than just one method (print) for monetizing their content.

Chris also mentioned that when you are creating content that caters to people’s lives and fashion, that is the type of content that people can still relate to and prefer to have in a print version.

The demographic audience for GQ is men in their 30s. Subscribers through the iPad equates to an average of $100,000+ or more in annual income. This is extremely useful to know because you can cater your advertising audience on the iPad/digital versus print sales, as the readers aren’t the same.

This year GQ will do at least 10% of their revenue from digital sales (growing at a 20-25% clip), while the magazine continue to grow at a 5-10% clip.

GQ is active in the online video space as well.

As reported in one of our previous articles, more people are using online video to get their news than ever before. This means video content is on the rise and if newspapers and print aren’t delivering their content across all platforms, they are missing out.

GQ Online Content

GQ is very bullish on internet video and getting the distribution they need — especially on Google+ and YouTube. Through bundled advertising (pre-roll and video ads) across the whole networks allows for advertisers to pick and choose where they would like they print, digital and video ads to be displayed. GQ currently has over 9 million video displays per month with their own content. GQ will also be expanding their video and content reach to television/movie devices for improved viewer reach.

Social Reach: 30% of GQ’s audience are women. GQ also has the highest number of Pinterest followers among all all competing magazines in their niche.

The Future of Print and Digital Lies within Content, Reach and Implementation

It would have been easy for GQ to look at their magazine and say “We are a print magazine and people will continue to buy our stuff”, but instead they took the industry by storm and continued to develop their content and make sure they could cater it to their audiences across all platforms.

It doesn’t matter what the current size or reach of your brand is, to survive in transitional times such as this you must adapt your content to your audience and how they want to access it.

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