Bauer pins revenue hopes on events play

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 1 July 2015

Bauer Media is taking aim at a new and potentially lucrative revenue source in the shape of customer-centric events with newcomer Elle kicking-off its first foray.

Fresh from launching a digital women's network, the publisher is now looking to ticketed events as a major source of income in the hope they could account for up to 30% of projected total ad revenues in the near future.

Hearst Bauer Media Brands general manager, Marina Go, told AdNews that while the majority of the publisher’s revenue still comes from print advertising, she sees the space for the rapid growth of events as big business for Bauer and its brands.

“90% of our revenue still comes through print, about 10% comes through digital, certainly in the next year or so events could take up 10% of our revenue stream,” Go said.

“I look at business models overseas and there are some very successful ones out of the US where events make up a third of the total revenue stream. I'd like to see it get to that point with the Hearst business.”

Continuing with its exploration in this space, the publisher has just launched Elle's Morning of Little Life Changing Ideas off the back of a successful event run through the Hapaars Bazaar brand, Bazaar at Work. The event was sponsored by Hugo Boss, and subsequent events will also feature brand partners.

The new Elle venture touted itself as a half day event “that might just change your life” and is the first ticketed event that the brand has undertaken. Tickets are going for $80 a pop, with eight 'experts' in the fields of beauty, health, wellness and business all set to take the stage.

Go explained that while the brands have non-ticketed events such as award ceremonies, this new stream of events is a way for audiences to connect with the magazine brands.

“We're looking at the moment at what we can do with Cosmo around body and fitness,” she said. “We're looking at it on different levels, but already the three major events are pulling in 5% of revenue so it's not a stretch to get to 10%, but I'd like to see us get to an event revenue stream that’s worth a third of our total revenue.”

Editor-in-chief of the title, Justine Cullen, said that when launching events it was important for the title, being relatively new in market, to make a pertinent offline connection with its readers.

“We wanted to create an offline community where we can bring readers together and add something to their lives outside of the hard sell,” she said.

“Magazines have done that forever, we do fashion and beauty events in store and they're fantastic, and excellent added value for clients, but they didn't give readers any real reason to attend other than a goodie bag and glamorous night out.

“So, for us now, there's a real focus on events that add to readers’ lives and give them a message to amplify the message beyond the people in the room.”

A version of this story first appeared in the latest issue of AdNews magazine (26 June) Get the issue right now by clicking here.

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