It took Jason Binn a career in the luxury market and two straight years of independent research studying the media consumption and purchasing habits of his target audience, but the launch of DuJour Media has taken niche to the next level.
Binn, who has published several luxury magazines including Gotham, Ocean Drive, Hamptons and Los Angeles Confidential, saw several patterns emerge in the still-changing media landscape that led him to the business model he’s pursuing with the new venture.
“I think a lot of magazines were not engaging in digital as aggressively or strategically as they needed to,” he says. “Digital, as you know, is moving very, very fast and changing constantly. There wasn’t a lot of structure for it within a lot of these companies.”
More than most, Binn believes deeply in the power of his digital audience. Over 90 percent of readers for any brand remain engaged on a single medium, he says—i.e., digital readers read digital only, and print readers read print only, with very few exceptions—so there is separate, but very real value in both.
The challenge is putting out two quality products—one digital, one print; one monthly, one quarterly—with a unified voice. DuJour has invested heavily in both its print and digital mediums to do so. Production of both the 300-page heavy-stock folio and the sleek, mobile-friendly HTML5 website cost about the same amount.
It goes beyond that print-digital combination with DuJour though—a “glocal” product, as Binn calls it.
A Selective Market Approach
“We’re in just the key markets,” he says, naming 10 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. like Miami, New York and Los Angeles. These are the markets the magazine’s advertisers focus most of their attention on anyway, he says. “Instead of being a magazine that talks to the whole United States, printing a million copies, we went narrow and deep.”
DuJour tailors about 30 percent of the back of each quarterly book to those specific markets, while keeping the same national or global content in the front.
“You feel like this is a magazine about my community—and it is, because we do this local content in the back of the book,” Binn says. “But we have the gravitas of a Bruce Weber and a Jason Wu and all these great people contributing.”
The divisions between print and digital, along with the “glocal” aspect to the magazine, are there to help serve the most obvious niche DuJour goes after: the wealthy.
DuJour partners with upscale e-retailer Gilt Groupe—“One of the most valuable resources I’ve ever had,” Binn calls it—to market to its high-end clientele. Those lucky enough to receive the magazine must meet at least five benchmarks. Among them are having a net worth of $5 million, owning a home or homes valued at no less than $1.5 million and spending at least $100,000 per year offline in high-end luxury items.
So far, it’s working.
A First-Year Profit
“We’re profitable,” Binn says, noting that the opening issue served up more than 100 full-page ads. “We just ended our year, and it worked. I figured it would take a year or a few years to settle in, but it hit.”
“We’re putting out a magazine that costs as much as any magazine in the world to produce,” he adds. “We want to make sure that we’re not just giving it to someone to give it to them. It’s not how many people you reach, it’s who you reach.”
PROGRESS SO FAR…
DuJour invests significantly in a high-quality, 300-page book, along with an elegant, state-of-the-art website, but has managed to get its ROI already. Just five months in, the publication is profitable.