After five years in business, Quartz is expanding its footprint with two new verticals, an updated growth strategy and a book.
The Atlantic Media-owned site will launch “Quartzy,” a style and fashion-focused vertical in early November, and a management vertical called “At Work” in October. Those verticals allow for the company to court new advertisers, as well as to potentially dip into live events and e-commerce, among other things. (Speaking of e-commerce, Quartz also released a book today called “The Objects That Power the Global Economy,” which sells on its web site for $35. More on that later.)
Quartzy makes official the ongoing lifestyle coverage that Quartz has already been producing, and it allows the business team to sell against the new vertical.
“The aim of Quartzy is how to live well in the global economy,” said Kevin Delaney, Quartz copresident and editor in chief. “The way we are approaching topics is we are a little less literal about fashion and luxury the way most media are.”
The site covers fashion and style from both a cultural and philosophical purview with stories on gender specificity in fashion, sustainability and living. It has also delved into design, television and film.
Quartzy, which will be run by culture editor Indrani Sen and include a handful of current Quartz writers, will add an editor and three reporters, for a team of about a dozen. The vertical, which launches with sponsor Dacor, will add travel, food and wellness to the mix.
Sen explained that she will have her team take a similar approach to new subject areas as fashion and style.
“We are not going to be focused on recipes or destination writing,” she offered. “We are less concerned with being the first on a story than [we are with being] the smartest on a story.”
According to Jay Lauf, copresident and publisher of Quartz, the “broad premise” behind expanding coverage areas is that there’s still a lot of cash up for grabs as advertisers are still primarily spending in print in certain categories.
“Fashion and beauty advertisers have not moved as rapidly to digital,” he said. “There is all this money that has not shifted to digital…there are not enough safe harbors.”
Why? Lauf cited common complaints such as clunky ad experiences, problems with ad blockers and editorial sometimes not being as solid in digital as it is in print. But of course, those problems don’t exist at Quartz–at least on the experience side. Quartz is known for its sleek, responsive ad experiences, and Quartzy, will be no exception.
The site will mimic a full-page magazine ad experience, and include swipeable ad stacks. There will also be sponsored content opportunities in video and in text.
“I can’t give a sense of how much this [Quartzy and At Work] can help the company grow. It’s ambitious, it’s not a sort of side project,” Lauf said without giving revenue projections. “It’s very ambitious in terms of the revenue we expect to drive at launch and through the year.”
Joy Robins, Quartz’s senior vice president of Global Revenue & Strategy, echoed Lauf, noting that a guiding principle at the company is to make sure the reader is served, not simply the advertisers. She pointed to the hardcover book she referred to in shorthand as “Objects,” explaining that there’s only one advertiser in the book, Qualcomm, which has a 10-page story produced by Quartz Creative for the sponsor, making the reading experience seamless, and not ad-heavy.
Robins concluded that the book, of which Quartz printed 5,000 copies, is more of a “self-funding” marketing tool, that truly “adds value to the reader.”