With auto sales booming, the automotive publishing category is heating up, too.
Hearst Magazines announced the formation of a new division for the vertical Hearst Autos, centered on flagship publications Car and Driver and Road & Track, as well as the company’s Jumpstart Automotive Group and Veretech Holdings, formerly part of Hearst Business Media.
Hearst Autos is led by Nick Matarazzo, previously CEO of the Jumpstart Automotive Group.
Between its various offerings, Hearst Autos will provide marketers with content, data, consumer insights and marketing channels spanning the purchase funnel, from raising awareness to research and guiding purchase intent. The new division will have offices in New York, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, and Boca Raton, in order to better serve regional dealership groups.
Together, Car and Driver and Road & Track boast a combined audience of 24 million, according to Hearst. Jumpstart provides business-to-business digital marketing services, helping both manufacturers and dealers reach car shoppers across its own iconic consumer auto brands and a number of other publications, including Auto Week, autobytel, J.D. Power Autos, NADAguide and U.S. News Autos.
Also, Veretech will provide valuation, credit score tools, and data and analytics to help marketers better understand their audiences across Hearst Autos.
There has been a surge of activity in the automotive publishing and marketing space over the last year or so.
In February, Time Inc. acquired two popular YouTube channels targeting automotive enthusiasts, "Drive" and "Fast Lane Daily," which were incorporated into the publisher’s The Foundry, a new division responsible for developing new brands and marketing programs.
Last year, Time Inc. launched TheDrive.com, an automotive Web site that targets millennial automotive enthusiasts with a variety of editorial content, with particular emphasis on video. The publisher also recently introduced a new industry-specific sales structure including an automotive division.
In January, CBS Interactive and its tech publishing property CNET joined forces to launch a new online automotive destination called “Roadshow,” focusing on the growing convergence of cars and digital technology. Also in January, business-to-business media company Penton announced the acquisition of TU-Automotive, an events and digital information company focused on connected vehicles and the fast-growing Internet of things.
The New York Daily News launched Daily News Autos, a digital content hub and resource for consumers in the market for a new car and auto enthusiasts, last year.
According to Kelley Blue Book, U.S. consumers bought a record-setting 1.5 million cars, SUVs and light trucks in April of this year.