SYDNEY — Bauer Media Australia will launch a new Gen Z fashion brand, as well as a food and home-focused television series, the company revealed Tuesday at a strategy launch.
The yet-to-be-titled Gen Z brand is due to launch as a digital destination in the second half of the year and will be supported with a biannual print edition, according to Bauer Australia’s general manager of digital operations and publishing Sarah-Belle Murphy in an interview prior to the launch.
It will be the company’s first teen-focused product launch since the November 2016 closure of the print edition of the 46-year-old magazine Dolly.
“That brand [Dolly] really did capture exactly that age group that we’re talking to [with the new title] — the much younger end of our luxury market,” said Murphy.
Around 75 percent of Bauer’s total readership and online audience in the luxury division is comprised of Gen Z and what Murphy refers to as “Gen X,” which also embraces Millennials, she said.
“Having not been across these decisions [to shutter Dolly], it was like, ‘Well, are those audiences buying magazines?’ Obviously not, but [they are responsible for] a huge amount of the engagement in the online space. So I think it’s just taken a few years for us to say, ‘Well, OK, there really was an opportunity there and we need to tap it again’. But this is for the modern teenager.”
Bauer is also developing an original series for broadcast, online and audio that revolves around its luxury food and home titles Gourmet Traveller and Belle, with a working title of “Live Life Luxe.”
Broadcast content is a new focus for Bauer. Earlier this month, Bauer’s monthly women’s magazine The Australian Women’s Weekly said it is making a “significant” investment in its first feature film — Goalpost Pictures’ upcoming biopic on Australian singer Helen Reddy, coauthor of the Seventies feminist anthem “I Am Woman.”
The projects were among a raft of initiatives that were unveiled at Tuesday’s lunch for more than 120 advertisers at the Carriageworks venue. The event was presented by Bauer’s luxury division, which includes the Australian editions of Harpers Bazaar and Elle.
Other projects include the launch of the new “Luxurians” network, which aims to unlock key data insights into Bauer’s luxury print, digital and social properties for advertisers.
“[The data insights are about] Making it a lot easier for advertisers to buy in across all of those channels — so you can buy by brand, but also by an audience,” said Murphy.
One value added component of the new Luxurians network will be a regular series of industry forums for advertisers featuring guest speakers, with an Asia-Pacific focus.
Bauer provided a taste of the latter at the lunch, with a trend-forecasting session presented by Christopher Sanderson, the cofounder and chief executive officer of the U.K.-based The Future Laboratory and an in conversation with Arby Li, editor in chief of Hong Kong-based streetwear-skewed media and e-commerce platform Hypebeast.
Bauer also revealed plans to launch a Harpers Bazaar Beauty Festival for consumers; a “Luxcycle” charity initiative, which is designed to foster smarter consumption, and a consumer campaign that spotlights financial abuse.
Since Bauer Media acquired Australia’s largest magazine publisher, ACP Magazines, in 2012, the restructure of the local division has seen a raft of magazine closures and staff cuts.
This included, most recently, last year’s closure of the Australian edition of Cosmopolitan, as well as the merger of the print and digital teams at Harpers Bazaar and Elle, which led to 13 redundancies — and the departures of the latter titles’ editors in chief Kellie Hush and Justine Cullen.
Last year, however, Bauer also launched three new publications: monthly editions of the ongoing weekly TV Week and Take 5 titles and the digital destination Women to Love.
Also in 2018, the company acquired three home titles jettisoned by NewsCorp: Inside Out, Country Style and Homelife.com.au.
Through its 40 brands, Bauer Media Australia claims to reach 6.3 million Australians per month, with eight million magazine readers, a digital audience of 4.6 million and 11.6 million social connections.