People behind it:
Name: The Dennis Lifestyle Division
Although Richard Downey, publisher of Monkey since October 2007, can take much credit for the success of the online men’s magazine, the development of the idea was very much a team effort. Essentially, the staff of the Dennis Lifestyle Division decided they wanted to launch a weekly men’s product, following the launches of Nuts and Zoo, but somehow make it completely different. The result was the world’s first digital weekly men’s magazine, delivering a mix of sports, video virals, girls, motors and technology by e-mail to nearly 272,000 inboxes every week.
Launched on November 1, 2006, Monkey has defied digital experts who claimed there was no place online for a magazine that looked like a magazine, complete with virtual pages that readers click to turn. More than a quarter of a million 16- to 30-year-old males are obviously happy with Monkey’s format and content, and it is attracting new subscribers every day. Monkey has spawned a range of similar product launches from Dennis, including iGizmo and iMotor.
According to ABCe, Monkey had an average of 271,667 unique viewers in January 2008, 10.7% up on the previous ABC period six months ago. Its first set of ABCs, for January 2007, showed an average number of unique viewers of 209, 612, compared with the 100,000 target when it launched in November 2006.
How it fits
Monkey seems to be the perfect mix of softcore porn, hardcore gadgets, cars, movies, music and scatological humour for its young male target readership. But its real success lies in the fact that it clearly demonstrates digital magazines do not have to be at the cutting edge of digital technology to succeed, but accessible. Too much technology in terms of delivery systems and platforms restricts take-up for a mass-market title like this.