Modern Luxury expands footprint online and in New York

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Modern Luxury expands footprint online and in New York
Modern Luxury expands footprint online and in New York

Modern Luxury Media, a publisher of niche and city-focused high-end glossies, is expanding its holdings with the acquisition of JuliB Inc. and a planned launch of 60,000-circulation Manhattan magazine.

When Manhattan launches on September 1, Modern Luxury will use JuliB's newsletters and sites to promote the new title. JuliB publishes twice-weekly e-newsletters that reach 700,000 subscribers in 14 major cities — including 100,000 in New York. Both companies cover similar editorial ground and specialize in content tailored to individual cities.  

“I can tell you for sure we're going to be promoting and advertising this new e-mail marketing product to all readers,” said Michael Kong, CEO of Modern Luxury. “None of JuliB's competitors have a big partner like Modern Luxury, so we will promote the newsletter and Web site heavily and try to convert our readers to online readers. JuliB will be promoting Modern Luxury online, too, so there's nothing but synergy there.”

The audience for Manhattan's controlled circulation is determined largely by household value — a value of $3 million or more is required. Average age for Modern Luxury titles is 40, and readership skews slightly female. Copies of Manhattan will reach qualified readers in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey largely through direct mail. JuliB readers are typically female (88%), with an average age of 30.

“It's a really interesting difference in that our reader can graduate to being a Modern Luxury reader,” said Juli Benlevi-Zeff, publisher of JuliB.com. “Our readership ranges from aspirational to those who can really afford the designer bag and the luxury vacation.”

“I think the demographic of JuliB is perfect for us because you don't want exactly the same readership — it's too redundant,” added Michael Kong, CEO, Modern Luxury. “We don't want to reach exactly the same people in the two media, so as long as they're aligned in key ways — consuming regional content and psychographically very focused on what both products are producing — then they're perfectly aligned. The range between 30 and 40 years old is actually perfect for us, and from a selling point of view give us more flexibility to offer different audiences for different products.”

Modern Luxury will build buzz and reader engagement for the bi-monthly with a series of parties, starting at Fashion Week in the second week of September. The company is also developing other online holdings and a mobile program to cross-promote with the magazines and JuliB.

Kong said he saw a large gap in the New York market for his new magazine, noting that others in the space do not share Manhattan's core audience. Niche Media's Gotham, he said, caters to a younger, more party-going crowd, while New York magazine serves a much broader audience and comes out weekly, making ads more expensive.

Modern Luxury publishes 34 titles in 13 markets, including Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. The overlap in coverage areas and content between Modern Luxury and JuliB allows both companies to offer national and local multimedia packages to advertisers.

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