Future has unveiled multiplatform lifestyle title The Simple Things after honing the concept using social networks to build an audience prior to launch.
The magazine’s sister title Mollie Makes, a lifestyle and craft brand, was prelaunched in the same way last year. As a result it became profitable within three months and is now one of the publisher’s most lucrative titles (nma.co.uk 7 June 2012).
The Simple Things, which focuses on interiors, cooking, gardening and crafts, is available as an enhanced tablet edition, an online community and a print magazine, all of which have been launched simultaneously.
Future began working on the concept around six months ago and has more recently been gauging consumer interest and building a loyal audience via blogs, Facebook and Twitter. It then used what it learnt to tailor content and source contributors, all of which was done fairly conservatively so as not to give too much away to competitors.
Future CEO Mark Wood said, “It enables us to launch a multiplatform product to an engaged audience, giving them what we know they are interested in.”
The Simple Things is run by the same team behind Mollie Makes, so the publisher began by interacting with that audience, inviting them to comment and become part of the discussion, before linking to related websites and blogs, and creating a following on Facebook and Twitter - all without giving too much away.
“We started off with an initial concept and then refined the product based on the feedback we got. We’ve now a ready-made audience. We’ve already got close to 2,500 subs already and we only launched today,” said Wood.
Future also launched a series of YouTube videos exploring the theme, below.
The Simple Things
The Simple Things is designed to fill a gap in the market and is targeted at urban women who are inspired by country life. Research into the market revealed an appetite for home-grown produce; a 500%rise in the sale of sewing machines; a rise in home baking; and the fact that membership to the British BeeKeeping Association has doubled to 20,000 in the last year.
Wood added, “Women today have changing tastes and needs. The younger generation are not so materialistic and product-driven and there has been massive growth in recycling and reusing. We then looked at how we could turn that into a product. It is certainly a strategy we will continue to use.”
The tablet edition, which is currently still waiting approval from Apple but should be available in the next few days (a sampler can be viewed here), features exclusive video and audio content, photo galleries and other interactive elements.
Katherine Raderecht, group publisher for The Simple Things and Mollie Makes, said down the line she would like to develop a fully interactive edition with more video and audio content and more interactive features.
Future has been a pioneer when it comes to developing fully interactive editions and has developed its own digital publishing tool, Future Folio (nma.co.uk 12 July 2012).
The Simple Things is aimed at women aged 20-40, which is quite different from the target market for Future’s other titles, which include T3, Edge and CyclingNewsHD. Wood said he would like to increase the publisher’s female readership and is keen to launch more titles aimed at women.
Although there are no concrete plans to launch additional titles within this particular sector, Raderecht reckons a food title would be a logical next step.