Curbed, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, is the latest Vox Media property to get an overhaul.
Much like sister site Racked, the real estate-centric site helmed by editor in chief Kelsey Keith has a new look, which launched today. The upgrade includes a more refined logo, additional sections, contributors and luxe photos.
She said that while Curbed is sticking to its scrappy neighborhood-centric reporting, there is also an “aspirational” element that includes interior design and a focus on home. Her mantra for the new Curbed is to extend the hunt for real estate to “what happens” after a property is purchased, i.e. how one decorates it and makes it “home.”
While Curbed is joining the fray of shelter publications such as Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and House Beautiful on the Web, Keith emphasized a point of differentiation. “Our voice is approachable but informative. We provide context for every story that we tell,” she said. “It’s curious. It should be fun. It’s not academic. It’s also not snarky.”
In concrete terms, Keith will feature homes across the U.S. with the help of newly hired photo editor Audrey Levine, who comes from One Kings Lane and Architectural Digest. She will feature inspirational homes of public and private citizens alike. Curbed will also tap a host of writers for a package on the importance of home, including real estate and “Shark Tank” guru Barbara Corcoran, writer Susan Orlean, podcasters Desus Nice and The Kid Mero and former NFL player Warrick Dunn. The site will also extend its cities coverage to include the Austin, Tex., market. A podcast is in the works for the site, as is a continued focus on news stories on the real estate market and analysis on the evolution of neighborhoods across the country.
Steele addressed the future growth path of Curbed, which, citing Google Analytics data, he said garners roughly 6 million unique visitors a month.
“Across the board, the big publishers have not invested digitally in their shelter magazine properties,” he said. “A lot of the advertisers in this category have been slow to move online — even relative to other slow-to-moving advertising categories. At Vox, we have the advantage to sell across our properties.”
“We are able to work with advertisers that may not ever appear in a place like Architectural Digest,” he offered. That will likely change as traditional publishers are ramping up efforts to sell digital as a bundle across its various properties.
Still, Steele explained that Curbed’s online report includes originally reported news stories, which magazines and shelter titles, in particular, have largely avoided delving into.
“On the Internet, news drives traffic. It just does,” he said. “If you look across all the Vox Media properties, the newsy piece of ‘what’s happening today? What is the thing I need to know about right now?’ is a big part of our formula for success.”