October 14th, 2014 at 1:33 pm 9 comments
Bauer Media owned lads magazine Zoo Weekly is set to “retire” its website and online community and website this Friday, Mumbrella can reveal.
Ewen Page, associate publisher of the title, confirmed the “retirement” of the website, telling Mumbrella: “We’re retiring the website but we’re not getting out of digital.”
The website “retirement” notice at this stage directs readers to a digital edition of the magazine and encourages them to subscribe to dating website ‘Zoosingles.com.au’. The associate publisher of Zoo Weekly cited the title’s technology app ‘Viewa ‘ and the brand’s launch of the dating site.
“There will be a landing page which will take you out to the various other things we have,” he said when quizzed on the lack of a traditional desktop website.
“It is different. It’s not a retreat, we don’t see it as that. We know we can get a high level of engagement on digital platforms with capacity to link out to all manners of locations with that app. We’re pretty comfortable.”
On the implications for the title’s print product Page said “for print? not a great deal”, adding: “If you combine the audience of Zoo it’s still a powerful medium for young men.”
“The demographic of young male is not going away, they are still strong consumers of the content Zoo do.”
The “retirement” of the website follows the print title suffering declines in circulation, with the title posting a decline of 33.70 per cent in the months April to June 2014, according to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau
of Circulations (ABC) .
Despite the major collapse in sales figures the Enhanced Media Metric Australia (EMMA) readership figures released in August said Zoo’s readership had actually gone up, with claims that more than 15 people were now reading each copy of Zoo.
On the decision to ‘retire’ the site being related to the circulation figures, Page said “they’re separate issues”.
“Circulation is being managed. We have a very strong readership,” he said. “If we look at the offerings we have our audience cell remains very strong.”
A spokesperson for Bauer said a statement would be issued later today. The website “retirement” notice at this stage directs readers to a digital edition of the magazine.
Sources at Bauer told Mumbrella, they were unaware of the website change but that the decision fitted with the publisher’s internal digital strategy which has seen it divert resources away from the lads magazines towards more profitable titles such as women’s and fashion magazines.
In August, media analyst Steve Allen described the Zoo Weekly numbers as “terminal” and it comes amid ongoing industry speculation about the closure of the magazine.
“There’s just not a need for it, all the stuff you get in a magazine like that is available online in an instant. In categories where most of the content or similar content is available online – I’m not saying Zoo don’t do original journalism – it’s just that genre of content is available all over the internet. And categories where that is the case, they’re just terminal,” said Allen.
Miranda Ward and Nic Christensen
Full notice to subscribers:
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