Closing in on one month since launch, the healthy lifestyle magazine has signed up 145,000 subscribers. That’s about one third of the number of copies that were sent to subscribers of other Hearst magazines and similar to the early results of Hearst’s previous joint ventures.
Hearst is an old hand at these launches, Oz being its fourth joint venture after O, the Oprah Magazine, Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine.
“We’re off to the races, and we’re off to a great start,” said Oz publisher Kristine Welker.
Hearst also distributed 375,000 copies of the magazine at retail. Welker said it’s too soon to know how single-copy sales are tracking, although magazine retail sales tracker MagNet estimated that the first issue would sell 175,000 to 200,000 copies, which would put it at the high end of magazine sell-through rates.
As for editorial-side changes, Welker didn’t say if the magazine had replaced Cass Spencer, the design director who was let go even before the first issue’s launch. “We’re using a lot of freelance support for the second issue,” she said, adding: “There’s always change in a launch.”
The second issue, which closes Friday and is due out April 15, is expected to resemble the first, with 60 ad pages in a 148-page book. Welker said she's sold 12 new advertisers into the second issue, including fashion, prestige beauty and insurance companies. (She wouldn’t name them, saying the issue hasn’t closed.)
After the first two test issues, Hearst plans to decide whether to go forward with a full launch.