Going Glocally: Jason Binn’s DuJour magazine… The Intricate Ins and Outs of a Truly Upscale Magazine. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview.December 11, 2012
At age 23 he launched his first magazine and at age 23 he knew that upscale is the only way to go. He never changed. Every magazine he published targeted an upscale audience via an upscale over-sized publication. From Ocean Drive to Aspen Peak, from Hamptons and Gotham to Los Angeles Confidential, from Michigan Avenue to Capitol File, all of Jason Binn’s magazines were glossy, super glossy ink on paper magazines. Until this year when Mr. Binn ventured into the new world of DuJour magazine, “a new national luxury magazine with targeted local content – seamlessly connecting digital and print media.” A first for Mr. Binn.
DuJour was recently named as one of the hottest launches of the year by yours truly and min: media industry newsletter. After the award presentation, I had the opportunity to visit with Mr. Binn at the Gilt Groupe’s headquarters on the 5th Floor of the 2 Park Ave. building in New York City. Gilt and Hudson News are Mr. Binn’s partners in this venture.
So, how do you successfully operate a magazine that targets an audience who maintains a net worth of $5 million? Well, with very affluent aim, of course. I asked Jason Binn, CEO and Founder of DuJour, about the size of his market, the fact that 97% of his readers don’t practice digital and print simultaneously, and his concept for DuJour’s digital edition. It’s sure to be a bull’s-eye read. So sit back, count your millions later, and enjoy Mr. Magazine’s™ interview with “Mr. Elite,” Jason Binn.
And in typical Mr. Magazine™ Interview’s style, first the sound bites, followed by the video interview and then the very lightly edited transcript with Jason Binn.
The Sound bites:
On the description of DuJour as a “glocal” magazine: It focuses on national content and keys into the top cities around the country that really moves the luxury goods, luxury products, and luxury services.
On the size of DuJour’s upscale market: We mail 250,000 magazines to cities like Miami, New York, L.A., and Chicago. We call those tier one markets. In those markets, we find upwards of around 37,000 people that we obtain accessible data for, people who maintain a $5 million net worth.
On the fact that DuJour’s readers are either print readers or digital readers, but not both: Yes, our data has shown us that a digital reader for a specific magazine either reads that magazine online, or offline. For that individual to integrate and read both, it has to be a very high, enthusiastic reader.
On DuJour’s digital edition: Basically it’s set in a way that the magazine reads like a web magazine. So you can see the style, the life, and the body. Then when you’re in the different sections, it moves. And you have Twitter feeds at the bottom that are anecdotes that hold like footers.
On what makes Jason click and tick: It’s about being challenged for me. It’s about being around people who are actually motivating me to put out a better product. The media world today is changing constantly.
And now for the video interview:
And last but not least, a lightly edited transcript for both the video and audio interview:
Samir Husni:What is DuJour?
Jason Binn: DuJour Magazine is what we call a “glocal” magazine. It focuses on national content and keys into the top cities around the country that really moves the luxury goods, luxury products, luxury services and integrates print and digital so that they work together as one.
Samir Husni: You’re known as the “Mr. Elite” of elite magazines. How big is the upscale market?
Jason Binn: We mail 250,000 magazines to cities like Miami, New York, L.A., and Chicago. We call those tier one markets. In those markets, we find upwards of around 37,000 people that we obtain accessible data for, people who maintain a $5 million net worth. Then we have tier two markets which we send around 20,000 copies to, and those range from San Francisco to Dallas, to Houston, to New York City’s metro markets, and Orange County. And then we have our sizzle markets, those markets that consist of people in the tier one and tier two categories who have second or third homes in, say, Aspen, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Telluride, Martha’s Vineyard, or Sun Valley.
Samir Husni: You mentioned that 97% of your print readers don’t go online.
Jason Binn: Yes, our data has shown us that a digital reader for a specific magazine either reads that magazine online, or offline. For that individual to integrate and read both, it has to be a very high, enthusiastic reader. So if there’s somebody who is really passionate, let’s say, about a magazine or a newspaper, roughly only 3% of the time will they have the app or subscribe to the digital version, as well as the print. There are also some magazines out there that if you are a subscriber to the print, they’ll give you the digital for free. And there’s other companies out there that if you buy the print, you have to buy the digital.
Samir Husni: Tell me about the digital edition of DuJour Magazine.
Jason Binn: Basically it’s set in a way that the magazine reads like a web magazine. So you can see the style, the life, and the body. Then when you’re in the different sections, it moves. And you have Twitter feeds at the bottom that are anecdotes that hold like footers. I think that’s a very important feature. And we have a great use of white space. Also mostly 90% of our content is original and our stories exclusive. I believe that content is king, so that’s very important. And also, magazines aren’t as thick as they used to be. So what I did was to create a quarterly magazine in order to have a really great shelf life. I created a book that people would want to hold onto and read; one that could take two to three hours to enjoy, that has investigative reporting and great culture and arts too. But I also created a magazine that, on the digital front, is going out to an amazing audience that’s spends $24 billion a year on offline. And that goes out monthly. And people think it takes less money, but believe it or not, it costs as much editorially to put out a digital product as a print one. People now understand that digital audiences are the same, and therefore as valuable as print audiences. So writers aren’t just going to write for them like they may have four or five years ago. So it costs just as much, but of course, you are saving, obviously, in the paper, in the printing and production, which is probably to most magazines 40 to 50 % of their overhead.
Samir Husni: One final question Jason: what makes you click and tick?
Jason Binn: It’s about being challenged for me. It’s about being around people who are actually motivating me to put out a better product. The media world today is changing constantly. When people say to me, ‘Oh, this is a great model,’ there’s sometimes that I might say, ‘I’m building a model to break a model,’ because in the next 12 to 16 months what I feel I’m doing today might not be what I’m doing tomorrow. The objective today is to be fluid, it’s to be nimble. You couldn’t expect or assume that what we were doing five years ago was going to stay that way. What you can do is stay true to your mission and your message with your business model, and still move into modern times. And as much as we want to control our businesses and control our destinies, which we were able to do at one point, today that is being challenged. And today we typically are affected by what’s taking place around us. As much as we don’t like that, that is just how it is and that’s what makes this exciting to me.
Samir Husni: Thank you.