How GQ Dominates Print and Digital Platforms

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April 17 (Bloomberg) -- GQ Vice President Chris Mitchell examines GQ’s digital game plan across seven different platforms. He speaks with Adam Johnson and Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Business, publishing is dead.

Publishing is not dead.

I will have to say that speaking as a publisher -- as a publisher i have to say that this is actually true.

For a lot of reasons.

The biggest reason is because the best and that has happened to the publishing industry is digital media.

I think that we all look back a few years ago to the recession, the doomsayers were predicting that the internet would put magazines out of business.

Speaking for gq, we just closed the best year in our 57 year history.


Because you expanded your ad sales game with a new platform?

We have seven different platforms in seven different ways of making money when we used to have one.

We are not only making more money at the grand platform, because we are getting more readers from the other platforms migrating to print, but the way that we can sell advertising and circulation.

Is that the lesson that came out of the newsweek flip-flop.

It was a print magazine and it went digital and then they realized they needed the print magazine.

This is like a platform identity crisis.

It is different in different categories.

A company like ours focuses on self-publishing, these are all the leaders in lifestyle.

The "newsweek" category is a different category.

It is tough to exist as a different vehicle but when you produce a monthly magazine about fashion and lifestyle, that is still the wheelhouse for print.

With the explosion of digital, has this changed your demographic?

12 years ago you might not have a 35-year-old guy going to a newsstand to pick up a "gq." or he may not admit that.

Or he wouldn't admit it.

We have a very similar demographic across all of these platforms.

Hot guys?

They are all guys in their early 30's. when we look at a web user or a magazine user, they have a very similar demographic.

The interesting tidbits, the ipad is just a huge screen so when you look at the ipad -- the ipad reader means that they're going to have about $100,000 more average income than the other platforms.

Because they own an ipad.

If you have an ipad, it means that you are in a very similar elite status.

You are not reading magazines at a nail salon.

You may be doing that, i do not say that is demographically-based.

But the overlap with those platforms is not that great.

That is a good thing because when we go to the advertising market we are not duplicating the same readers, we increase the size of the audience.

14 million people coming to gq on various platforms.

You guys are hitting it right, but why is this when you look at the magazine business as a whole, digital is only three percent of the overall circulation.

This is a tiny percent of the circulation and revenue, is perhaps what you are talking about.

On the revenue basis of this is going.

We are 57 years old and had a lot of time to build the print business, and a lot fewer years for the digital business.

We have the digital revenue and that is going to give the -- going to grow at a 25% clip, and it will catch up and you will see a reflection point between those two platforms in another five years.

"esquire" has esquire tv.

What is next?

This is the future.

Watch out.

With cable channels, we are very bullish with internet video, and we made huge investments in some of the companies and the other brands, disturbing our video, -- content, we are a broadband business with partnerships with yahoo!

And youtube.

How do you actually get paid for that content?

We bundle the advertising across the entire network and our advertising him by traditional broadcast times on that video segment that will then be distributed across the entire network.

This is a 9 million person audience for us and that is less than a year old.

These are the 15 second advertisements.

This video will post later with a 15 second advertisement beforehand.

We are doing that and exploring the native space.

Would you consider a streaming, roku-type channel?

I do not want to give away anything that you will start seeing us on the boxes and apple tv, that will probably happen this year.

You said your demographic did not change but can i ask about your female audience?

It is hot guys, guys in their 30's. if i was in the market for a hot guy in his 30's, how many women readers do you have with "gq?" people are laughing but i see where you're going.

Dirty percent of the audience is women.

Everyone was laughing but -- here is the tidbit, we have the largest number of pinterest users and most of this is female based.

Say that again.

We have a half million pinners, a huge number compared to the others that we look at.

We know this audience is female and the says things about where pinterest is going and the reason that women come to "gq" is the sense of humor.

That is like saying people read playboy for the articles.

"playboy" has articles.

Most women say that they find in most titles, there is not the same sense of humor that they find in men's articles.

I think this is a bawdier humor.

Our editor had a great quote, that humor is intimacy for men.

Men bond over jokes and other things.

Guys are always sending funny e-mails.

If you haven't seen anybody for a long time, you will give him a long time, where have you been hanging.

Women would never -- they would raise their voices and say something nice.

What are you talking about.

Women -- a guy will -- a guy will bust on another guy, but if woman busted on another woman, that would be verboten.


I rip all my girlfriends all the time.

Am i letting you -- let me roast for a little while.

I have to ask you, how do you handle their years of injury and standards.

You have your standards and then institutions come around like the chive, guys want to look at that and it is dirty but it is funny and how do you maintain your standards without losing your audience?

The simple answer is we have brilliant editors, who know what the market is, who have a point of view and a vision for what we are supposed to be doing and we stay true to that.

The key is also adapting.

Where do you think it will go over the next year and what becomes hot over the next few months?

This depends on what you are talking about.

I can tell you in the last few years we have started doing more lifestyle coverage and we do more food coverage than we ever did, we do more travel coverage and i say that we venture into home decorating.

Those areas of lifestyle become more important to guys, as one style.

Now a guy is interested in dressing well and he wants to have a cool place, he wants to know how to throw a dinner party and all of that is part of his lifestyle.

He wants to go to a hotel in the country and pick up some tips

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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