Shortlist refreshes as publisher looks forward

Shortlist Media, publisher of free weekly titles Shortlist and Stylist, is planning new launches, digital platforms and international expansion, according to managing director Mike Soutar.


Soutar told Marketing Week that he is bullish about the future and launching additional print titles, digital and international are the three main development areas for the media company.

Soutar is preparing to launch the online platform for women’s title Stylist this summer and is also looking at other potential digital services that can be offered from the Shortlist and Stylist brands

Shortlist is now in profit 2.5 years after launch and Soutar anticipates that Stylist will be in profit ahead of expectations.

He says that since its launch in September 2009, Stylist has upstaffed its editorial team, upped its distribution and is publishing more pages than initially expected because advertising volumes have been higher than expected.

“We’ve had more support from bigger prestige brands across a number of different categories including Selfridges and Estee Lauder earlier than we expected because we’re doing something distinct and different and have achieved the scale we wanted to.”

Men’s title Shortlist is undergoing an annual refresh of its design, layout and editorial content this Thursday, with changes planned including a new weekly section focussing on mobile technology.

Soutar says the move is part of a “do it before it needs doing” strategy and shows that the publisher is “continuing to lead rather than responding”.

The last ABC-issued figures showed the title had a distribution of 410,000.

Soutar adds :”We’re in a great position with two successful launches, have a healthy balance sheet and cash flow and the economy is picking back up. This is the time for us to be thinking about our growth strategy for the next 1 – 2 years.”

He believes that the free magazine model could work with other titles in the UK and the brands have the potential to work in new territories abroad.

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