Quartz—the young, inventive, versatile online publication that's built a massive following for its coverage of business and tech—is launching a weekly newsletter focused on culture, fashion, food, travel, art and personal care.
Quartzy (no, the y is not a typo) is run by Jenni Avins, a global lifestyle correspondent with Quartz. Beta versions of the newsletter have included stories about a Brazilian graffiti art show in Manhattan, David Chang's "unified theory of deliciousness" and how to use "fashion math" to upgrade a wardrobe.
Quartzy, which officially launched Friday, is taking an organic approach to growth and had 14,000 subscribers by the end of its first day. The newsletter is actually a second for the Atlantic Media-owned company, following the Daily Brief, which has grown to 250,000 daily subscribers since its launch and seen a consistent open rate of around 40 percent. According to Joy Robins, Quartz's svp of global revenue and strategy, the newsletters are meant to engage current readers while also helping Quartz branch out into new verticals. (Quartz's overall audience also continues to grow. Between July and September, it had an average of 18 million monthly unique visitors, according Omniture.)
"We always want to create content for humans—not robots," Robins said. "We want to create products for the right people, how they are actually wanting to be spoken to as technology evolves."
In the next few weeks, Shinola will become the first brand to advertise with Quartzy as part of a broader cross-channel campaign being paid for by the Detroit-based maker of watches, bicycles and notebooks. The number of consumer brands advertising with Quartz has doubled in the past year, growing from fewer than 20 in 2015 to more than 40 so far this year. (Consumer brands now make up slightly more than a quarter of Quartz's overall advertiser base.)
Lately, Shinola has been experimenting with all sorts of digital media, such as a recent 360-degree video starring Luke Wilson. Earlier this year, the brand teamed up with Viceland for a series highlighting Shinola's employees.
Lifestyle stories aren't entirely new to Quartz. The publication has been gradually upping its variety since launching four years ago. The company hired Avins and other writers in 2014 to focus more heavily on stories about fashion, food and travel. Robins said Quartzy will distinguish itself by its visual nature, which she said should appeal to advertisers wanting to engage readers visually.
The newsletters are focused on the most quartzy of Quartz readers: people in their late 30s, highly educated, travel well, have a senior role and have an average of more than 3,000 Twitter followers. (That composite was created from an annual survey the company conducted last year.)
Daily Brief has become a hot commodity for readers. It's also in high demand for advertisers. Around 95 percent of the sponsorships for the year have been sold out since June, Robins said. Earlier this year, it also began experimenting with another type of news product when it launched a news chatbot in the form of a stand-alone app for iOS. The app, which provides users with a few stories throughout the day, has attracted advertisers such as Jaguar.
"I think we're a culture of experimentation," Robins said. "We've been fortunate to really maintain our focus first and foremost on editorial. I think finding pockets of utility to the user base we're focused on remains a priority for us."