Publishers Look to Cash in on Green
McGraw-Hill, Hanley Wood see ‘tidal wave’ in green building magazines.
According to a recent report from McGraw-Hill Construction, the green home building market is expected to be worth as much as $20 billion this year, and could double over the next five years, possibly reaching as much as $70 billion in market share. With home foreclosure activity continuing to skyrocket, and environmental and political pressures mounting about the effects of global warming, it’s no wonder that the green home building market is exploding even in this down economy.
Magazine publishers are also cashing in on this expanding market. McGraw-Hill’s award-winning, 42,000-circulation GreenSource magazine, for instance, has seen consistent advertising sales growth since its launch in 2006. Its March issue was its largest to-date, McGraw-Hill says, with more than 80 ad pages. Traffic to its Web site, greensourcemag.com, is up nearly 200 percent since last July.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive from our readers, clearly underscoring the interest in the topics we cover,” says McGraw-Hill Construction editorial director Robert Ivy. McGraw-Hill also has plans to increase GreenSource’s frequency from quarterly to bi-monthly, effective with the July issue.
“We’re seeing a tidal wave of interest [in green building] from our readers and customers,” says Hanley Wood group publisher Rick Strachan. To further tap into the market, the b-to-b housing and construction publisher in January launched Green Products and Technology magazine. This month, starting with only its second issue, Hanley Wood relaunched the 35,000-circ. title as EcoHome magazine, and increased the editorial budget by 25 percent per issue, Strachan says.
“It’s an entirely new book,” he says. “We changed the trim size, improved the paper stock, redesigned the logo, the table of contents—you put the first issue up to the second and the dramatic difference is clear.
“When the first issue came out earlier this year,” Strachan adds, “we knew it was good but knew also that this is too important a segment not to put more money into this magazine.” Hanley Wood also launched an accompanying Web site and has plans for an e-newsletter and an annual conference that is set to debut in Austin, Texas in October.
While Hanley Wood plans to keep EcoHome as a quarterly through the rest of 2008, it plans to up its frequency to bi-monthly in 2009. “We’re building an eco-franchise,” Strachan says. “The fast-growing green building segment is here to stay.”