Coastal Living Makes a Comeback for Subscribers

Meredith made the magazine title newsstand-only last year

the cover of a coastal living magazine
Meredith is changing its strategy with several magazine brands, including Coastal Living.
Meredith

Meredith is bringing back Coastal Living to subscribers.

The magazine title, which the publisher inherited in its $2.8 billion purchase of Time Inc. (which was completed at the beginning of 2018), was phased into a newsstand-only model last year. But Meredith says after hearing from readers and advertisers, the magazine will again be available to subscribers at a steep discount.

It’s the first time the publisher is bringing back a print magazine with a smaller rate base.

When Meredith decided to make Coastal Living a special issue publication (SIP), “the consumer had not given up on the brand, it’s just the advertising was inconsistent and not reliable enough to keep it as an ad-based product,” said Doug Olson, president of Meredith Magazines. “We’ve got enough advertising interest, and it doesn’t need much advertising, because that’s not what the premise is here.”

Instead, Olson said, consumers will be able to get home delivery at a discounted rate. The title will be available to subscribers at an annual rate of $20 (four issues) or two years for $30. The magazine will still cost $12.99 on newsstands.

Media buyers have said SIPs can give advertisers a new opportunity to cash in on evergreen content as long as that ad has a long shelf life.

Meredith has recently sold off additional assets from its Time Inc. acquisition, including its share of Viant, an ad-tech company, and Money.com, the website of Money magazine, which ceased printing over the summer. The publisher had said it was taking the magazine off the market.

Meredith also recently shut down Family Circle, a monthly home magazine, and laid off dozens of staffers associated with the title. With that brand, Olson said, “there just was no path forward.”

Travel + Leisure will have different covers for the newsstand (left) than for subscribers (right).

In addition to bringing back Coastal Living to subscribers, Meredith is also making new investments in Food & Wine as well as Travel + Leisure, printing those magazines on better grade paper and increasing their trim size.

“At a certain point, it’s math,” Olson said. “Do we think if we invest, we’ll get something back? And we do believe we’ll get even more advertisers supporting Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure than we have today.”

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