Iconic fashion magazine title Elle is returning to print in 2024 thanks to a resurgence in readership of hard copy publications, a phenomenon its publisher’s boss, Jane Huxley, calls extraordinary.
The title will return to shelves in March, with a second to be published in September, each coinciding with the biggest seasonal fashion points of the year, before moving to four editions in 2025.
Elle is a women’s fashion magazine with 45 editions globally, published locally by Are Media, and Huxley describes it as “one of the most influential fashion brands in the world”. With readership on the rise and the luxury advertising market hitting “fine form”, the decision was easy, says the media executive.
The new edition will come almost four years after it last hit the printing presses. It was axed alongside seven other titles including InStyle and Harper’s Bazaar in 2020 by then-owners Bauer Media, when the company was grappling with the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a buyout, its new owners revived Elle in digital form later that year.
Are Media says details on the team behind the relaunch, including its editor, will come next week.
Magazine print readership has risen for four consecutive quarters, bucking earlier downward trends, after the COVID-19 years, which Huxley says were “good to magazines”.
Readership of popular titles Australian Women’s Weekly, Vogue Australia (News Corp Australia), Marie Claire, and Women’s Day has increased, according to Roy Morgan, in the 12 months to June 2023.
Huxley says two main factors are behind this trend: the enduring brand strength associated with titles during tough economic times, and a consumer reaction to what she calls “the digital deluge”.
“Everything pinging and dinging and ringing”, people are overwhelmed by notifications and a flood of content, she says, which has given editors the opportunity to return to the hyper-curated format of print.
“People are reacting to that deluge of digital content by just sitting back a little and saying, ‘Hey, I just actually want it curated for me. I just want somebody to do the work in helping me to understand what it is that’s relevant, contextual and real.’ ”
Are Media holds about 85 per cent of Australia’s women’s consumer magazines market through 36 brands and distributes others not in its stable. The company told advertisers at an event on Friday that its future lies under four key areas – homes, fashion and beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment.
It’s not just the publisher’s print circulation that is strengthening, advertising revenue is in a good spot, particularly in its fashion and beauty titles (such as Marie Claire), thanks to luxury brand partners.
Huxley says there is already a tonne of interest in Elle, with circulation plans being adjusted “up each week” in the lead-up to publication.
“The luxury contingent love print. They also love to reach our audiences across our digital sites and social, but they love a thick glossy page more than anybody else.”
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Source: Thanks smh.com