While more traditional magazines like InStyle and Marie Claire are exiting the print market amid a backdrop of dwindling advertising revenues, a new player is entering it.
Nobu, the trendy restaurant and hotel chain founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, is launching an eponymous magazine later this year in partnership with Nobleman Magazine’s custom publishing division, which is seeing increased business from hoteliers.
The first issue of the quarterly magazine will be released in June and distributed at participating Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide, as well as be available for purchase through subscriptions, with editor in chief Kara Studzinski joking that when “guests have to wait 30 minutes even though they have a reservation at Nobu Malibu, they will have something nice to read.”
At the latest count, Nobu has 27 hotels open and announced and 47 restaurants.
Of the venture, Trevor Horwell, CEO of Nobu Hospitality, said, “We’re delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with Nobleman Magazine and to be launching the first edition of our very own Nobu Magazine. Available across Nobu Hotels worldwide, the magazine will give readers exclusive access to the world of Nobu Hospitality, as well as editorial content spanning gastronomy, travel and style.”
Brand magazines surged in popularity as a marketing tool in 2019, with retailer Uniqlo, dating app Bumble, fashion platform Ssense and golf equipment company Callaway, among others, all entering the market. They joined fashion site Net-a-porter, sneaker resale company Goat, home rental marketplace Airbnb and luggage brand Away, which had already launched magazines.
For brands, these magazines were not so much about revenue as they were about engagement, viewed as a way of building a deeper connection with a company’s audience, as well as reaching out to new consumers. But since the pandemic began it has been a mixed picture. Of the 10 brands that WWD reached out to in a 2021 survey, half (Airbnb, Away, Bumble, Goop and Net-a-porter) had ceased print production for now, while the other five (Goat, Maapilim, Ssense, Tracy Anderson and Uniqlo) are still going strong, finding that having a print magazine is a positive and useful extension of their brand.
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