There are riches in niche audiences according to Kate Coughlan, where deeply engaged and committed readers appreciate dedicated content both on and offline. Kate says it’s the perfect time to return to the niche content market, following the purchase of both NZ Life & Leisure and NZ Lifestyle Block magazines from former publisher Fairfax Magazines. The tiles will now be published under Kate’s new enterprise Lifestyle Magazine Group which she has recently established.She had founded NZ Life & Leisure in 2005, selling the successful title to Fairfax two years later before deciding to put it all into practice in her own hydroponic gourmet greens operation. At the same time she was overseeing lifestyle magazines as the Editorial Director at Fairfax Magazines.
During her time at Fairfax Magazines, Kate had also developed two brand extensions that support the lifestyle genre, Insider’s Guide to NZ and In Your Backyard. Kate describes Lifestyle Magazine Group as the “experts at creating content about living and travelling well in New Zealand”.She says lifestyle magazine readers are deeply engaged audiences with a positive outlook. “They are ready to engage with both editorial content and with advertisers’ messages. This environment will become highly sought after for quality goods and services.
“And high quality print products remain very powerful with strong audiences against the ebbing tide of mass
print.”According to Audit Bureau of Circulation statistics, both of the group’s titles grew by paid circulation in 2015.NZ Lifestyle Block grew more than three per cent to 10,000plus sales per issue and NZ Life & Leisure was up nearly five per cent to 33,780 sales circulation during the same period.
So why are these titles bucking the print trend?
“Technology is speeding up people’s lives,” Kate says, “so they need to slow down the pace a little and introduce more sensory touch points in their lives.” “We help people find a connection to the land and to other people with content that helps to push back the constant barrage of technology. We believe there’s a strong movement towards living more fulfilled lives for many New Zealanders.”
According to Kate, digital is also an important area for Lifestyle Magazine Group but she says the content must be the focus. “Quality content attracts readers – whether on or offline. This I believe contributes to our success in print and we will maintain this focus as we increase our digital presence.” Kate is among the most awarded and recognised lifestyle editors in New Zealand. Becoming editor of NZ House & Garden in 1998, she drove it to become the country’s biggest home title with a circulation of 74,000 when she left six years later.
Prior to that she was a distinguished news and features journalist. “I’ve always had a goal beyond just being a successful magazine publisher and editor; I want to make a difference to my country. It’s why I went in to journalism.“If we can help guide people toward success, and it helps the country to move towards a more balanced economy which is less reliant on exporting bulk animal protein, then we have all succeeded.”