The Big Business of Franchise Issues
Evolving a magazine staple into a multiplatform powerhouse.
Magazines have long introduced and cultivated the franchise issueâ€”where an editorial theme takes over a standard monthâ€™s edition. And whether they exist within the normal publishing schedule or stand outside of it as an extra issue, the franchise edition can grow into a rallying point for a large segment of readers and advertisers. From these issues weâ€™ve seen the outgrowth of standalone events and a range of digital spinoffsâ€”multiplying a franchise issueâ€™s reach and business opportunities. Here, we examine how two in particular have become major brands in their own right: Sportâ€™s Illustratedâ€™s Swimsuit Issue and Inc. magazineâ€™s Inc. 500, which has since ballooned into the Inc. 5000.
In both cases, the franchise issues far surpass their regular issue counterparts in terms of reach and revenue. And both require year-round attention.
Sports Illustratedâ€™s Swimsuit Issue
The titleâ€™s iconic franchise functions as its own standalone business.
by T. J. Raphael
The Inc. 5000
Taking a franchise to the community, times ten.
by Bill Mickey