The DIY food publishing sector has witnessed two big developments, reflecting conflicting trends.
In one, Saveur has killed its print edition and will now focus on email newsletters and other digital content.
Saveur’s editors announced last week that “we’ll no longer be producing Saveur as a quarterly print publication. While we understand this might be disappointing, Saveur has been in print for 27 years, and it feels like the right time to shift our focus to better meet our readers where they are.”
Hearst’s Delish is going in the opposite direction: It is producing quarterly print editions, each tapping into a consumer food obsession. The first, Breakfast + Brunch will appear on March 2. They will be offered on newsstands and mailed to Delish’s Unlimited membership subscribers.
“We’ve seen great success with our print offerings, such as our best-selling bookazines and 11 sought-after cookbooks,” says Jo Saltz, editorial director for Delish.
“We know that our audience loves our brand, but we also know that many of them also love to cook from a physical product.”
The Delish Quarterly is intended to be a “fun, themed, keepsake mini-cookbook,” featuring recipes and gorgeous photography, Saltz adds.
The new quarterlies are in line with a growing trend — the move toward bookazines, a blend of books and magazines, often sold at a premium price, according to CNN. Hearst produced 80 bookazines last year, up from 75 in 2019. Meredith attributes part of its $3 million hike in newsstand revenue in the last quarter YoY to bookazines, CNN reports.
The Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) has seen "a handful of magazines that have stopped print to focus on their website or SIPs over the past few years," says the organization's Susan Kantor.
"Meredith comes to mind with Coastal Living and Cooking Light. Afar is another example, as it temporarily paused printing a magazine in the spring due to Covid. It saw it audience grow nearly 50% in our last Magazine Media 360 report, she adds. (Saveur resigned from AAM last fall.)
Delish says its social following is up is up 16% YoY and its video views up +45%. The overall audience is 42 million.
While serving similar readers, Saveur is in a different corporate situation. Bonnier Corp. sold it last October to North Equity, a firm that buys
struggling publications and converts them into digital platforms, GrubStreet writes.
“The magazine has faded in recent years, cutting back on print issues and experiencing significant layoffs, including its then-editor-in-chief Adam Sachs in January 2018,” GrubStreet continues. “In the three years since, the magazine has had three editors-in-chief, the latest appointed after the sale.”