The tectonic plates of the technology print press have shifted significantly of late with some major consequences for the way they deliver coverage in the UK and how we secure it for our clients.
Let’s bring you up to speed. Stuff magazine has a new home with independent publisher Kelsey Media after buying the title from the Haymarket Media Group. It’s the best-selling gadget magazine in the UK, but internationally is where it has real clout, shifting millions of copies worldwide thanks to no fewer than 26 international editions.
Haymarket had attempted to sell Stuff to fellow publisher Future plc in a multi-million pound deal that included specialist titles such as What Hi-Fi? While most of that was eventually ratified, the Competitions and Markets Authority stepped in to veto any idea of Stuff being part of the package.
That’s due to Future already owning Stuff’s closest competitor, T3, and having both under the same roof understandably didn’t sit too comfortably with the regulators. It may have also had something to do with Future previously purchasing Imagine Publishing and swallowing up the now defunct Gadget magazine in the process.
Meanwhile, T3 has been undergoing its own changes, including a magazine redesign and a new look website, expanding its remit outside of tech to encompass more lifestyle features. Over at Condé Nast, WIRED has halved print output and gone bi-monthly, switched to a ‘digital first’ policy and implemented a paywall on its US site to help secure its future.
Largely untouched in all of this are the plethora of hugely powerful dedicated technology websites, such as The Verge, Digital Trends, TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Pocket Lint, Gizmodo, Wareable, Alphr, Recombu, Mashable and TechCrunch among others.
So what does this all mean for Little Red Rooster and our tech clients? Well, firstly it means there are more opportunities than ever before in a field of fiercely competitive and highly influential publications and platforms posting decent numbers, and that’s a good thing for everyone concerned.
The ‘digital first’ policy adopted by many of the aforementioned titles, allied to the huge growth enjoyed by almost all the tech websites, means our clients’ stories are read by more people than ever. And not just in the UK, but rather we’re looking at these digital platforms as a way of engaging with all English language consumers. And these have a more democratic feel, with lots of varied voices, rather than a small ivory tower of experts telling everyone this is how it is.
The good news is this can equate to spectacular impact on the day of a launch, and one which lasts online. This content is then often repurposed for print further along the line, with time to expand on the details, or offer a new angle to journalists working on a magazine piece.
The changes to the UK’s tech print media is also a reflection of how technology is now a key part of all our lives. I know, insightful right? But in the media tech stopped being the exclusive preserve of gadget titles a long time ago. Newspapers, lifestyle magazines, interiors titles, you name it, they all cover technology, connected devices and consumer electronics in their publications and online. This can impact favourably on our clients on two sides of the coin.
On the one side, it’s caused some tech titles to diversify into other areas such as fashion and style, to follow lifestyle and interiors trends, and think more seasonally. This can benefit clients who wouldn’t consider themselves to be ‘tech’, to reach new audiences in unconventional places.
Far more importantly, our consumer electronics clients now regularly feature in titles once considered off limits. And this change of tack also means our clients’ products aren’t sitting in some tech silo. Rather they are happily featured in dedicated fashion, lifestyle, shopping and design pages. Again, this means new audiences in unconventional places and a chance for a brand to increase its following.
We hate to say we told you so, but this was one of the reasons Little Red Rooster came into existence eight years ago. We felt the worlds of design, technology and fashion where about to collide and wanted to lead in that space.
We have always thrived on taking our clients out of their comfort zone and exposing them to new audiences, so the impact tech is now having on content in all areas of the media is music to our ears.