Update: Not yet launched, Monocle’s Summer Weekly is already profitable.
Far from being a mere passion project, this is targeting a timely business opportunity – and they’ve got a clear idea of who their target customer is (and where they’re often found in August).
LONDON — Arriving August 10, Monocle’s new (limited run) Summer Weekly newspaper is nearly upon us. We reported late last week about the upcoming debut of the company’s new foray into a weekly paper, which editors Tyler Brûlé and Andrew Tuck both announced in late June at their Quality of Life Conference in Berlin. Since then, additional details on the project have arrived.
Here’s Brûlé sharing more business-minded insights on the new venture with NiemanLab:
Far from a passion project, this is targeting a timely business opportunity. The keyword here is August. It’s “‘a time of year when people have the luxury and time to read,’ and when advertisers are looking to target Europeans on holiday, according to…Brûlé.”
They’ve got a clear idea of who their target customer is (and where they’re often found in August). Said Tyler: “We’re really focusing on getting the people in their European rhythm, who are on their way to the beach, who stop by the newsstand on their bicycles, who pick up copies in the hotel lobby, who are in and out of airports on holiday or business.”
And it’s already profitable. “Monocle’s Summer Weekly is already a profitable project financed through advertising [more on that below]. You can preorder for shipping the four-week bundle for £45, and within a day after announcing the Summer Weekly, Monocle brought in another £20,000 [$26.5K] from preorders, according to Brûlé.”
The key to selling their advertising? Category exclusive sponsorships. When it comes to special projects like this, setting a high price and promising category exclusivity for advertisers has been the Monocle way. The company takes this same approach with is annual magazine offshoots The Escapist and The Forecast. According to Brûlé: “Ads are priced at $20,000 per full page, restricted to one brand per sector (for instance, only one fashion brand).”
At Monocle, it’s print before everything. For a decade now, Monocle has bucked convention in the “print is dead” narrative. Rather than recede from it, it continues to dig deeper and invest more into high-end print projects like this. The Summer Weekly is further proof of their conviction that print has boosts brands and offers better staying power — and, when done properly, has more gravity than just relying on digital otherwise would.
Expect a slightly more serious focus. “The paper will be reacting to the news, Brûlé said, while also experimenting with articles longer than even those in its monthly print issue (as long as 2,000 to 3,000 words), since it’s targeting weekend readers, likely on vacation, with some time to indulge.”