The popular youth culture magazine Dazed & Confused has announced that they are changing their strategy for 2014. First, they plan to decrease the number of print issues to 6, and instead, focus towards increasing their online audience and mobile.
“People are changing their reading habits,” said Jefferson Hack, editorial director and founder of Dazed Group. “Now, mobile is in people’s hands every day and they are getting their news and fix of culture from a mix of media. So, the print magazine has to become something more than it was. It has to become a printed manifesto and make a radical statement with more elaborate photography and more inspiring content. It has to be collectable and set the agenda.”
Like other youth titles that understand the shifting patterns of new information and distribution among a new youth culture such as i-D and Vice, changing the strategy to online, and mobile, as well as pumping up short videos is an important part of staying relevant and leading-edge. The print aspect of the title is now living within the digital realm rather than the other way around.
Dazed’s website called DazedDigital.com has increased traffic to now 787,000 monthly unique visitors with ad revenue up 31% in the last year.
Hack said, “We focused on fine-tuning the storytelling, strengthening the Dazed point of view and providing more insight in each of the articles. Tim Noakes, Dazed’s editor-in-chief, and Robbie Spencer, Dazed’s fashion director, hired a new team, specifically to work across print and digital, and they have secured more focused fashion coverage and global cultural exclusives. Another key driver was the focus on news and breaking stories of specific interest to our audience. The investment in the team and synergy across editorial and social media, working as one voice, has also been key to successfully driving audience engagement and interest.”
“We have finally moved from being a print publisher to being a digital-first publisher,” said Hack. “Print is still a massive part of our business, but we think of it as existing in a digital paradigm.”
In November, Dazed Group started a program called Visionaries which features a weekly video of longer interviews with key cultural icons ranging from James Franco to Bjork to Warp Records.
Dazed & Confused’s new direction is indicative of the changing patterns of the audience towards cultural information. Understanding how to integrate across a variety of media platforms is the key to success moving forward.