Audience DevelopmentMergers and Acquisitions

Publishers target business professionals with new launches and acquisitions

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A number of publishers are doubling down on the business community, with new launches and acquisitions focused on attracting and monetising a professional audience.

The takeaways:
  • Reuters announced this week that it is launching ‘Reuters Professional’, a new business line that will include news, analysis, and events for decision-makers, according to Axios.
  • Newly-independent Quartz has made a vow to its audience to refocus its content on its mission to ‘Make business better’. “We believe companies should solve real problems without creating new ones,” co-founder and CEO Zach Seward said in a letter on the site.
  • Insider Inc. have bought a majority stake in business-focused newsletter publisher Morning Brew. The company is expected to bring in over $20 million in revenue and $6 million in profit this year, with most of the income coming from flat-fee newsletter sponsorship packages. 
Why are business professionals such a hot market?

Quite simply, there’s big money in having a high-quality audience of professionals. These individuals are much more likely to spend on key areas such as luxury items, hotels, travel and business essentials. As a result, advertisers are willing to pay a lot to reach them.

  • Morning Brew has been able to attract an even more valuable market; business-minded millennials. The average age of a Morning Brew newsletter subscriber is 29. This younger audience will complement Insider Inc’s majority middle-aged audience, and expand the company’s advertiser proposition.
  • Quartz is also aiming for a very different type of business professional; one who is aware of and cares about their wider impact on the world. “You crave a greater sense of purpose in your work and expect the work you do to have a net-positive impact on the wider world,” Quartz said to their readers, reiterating that they want the publisher to be “your ally and strongest resource” in developing these better ways of doing business.
  • Reuters Professional will be both a B2B and B2C play according to Axios. Their website will lean into industry-specific expertise. It has also expanded its teams in new B2B topic areas like the future of work. Following their acquisition last year of B2B events company FC Business Intelligence, they also aim to launch a major conference called ‘Reuters Next’, which will target business leaders.

Yes but: Business publishing is an overcrowded area, and the more generalist the topics, the less they stand out. 

  • Quartz has stumbled in the past and fallen into the ‘mushy middle’; “not quite niche enough to be essential to a small group of readers, but not quite big enough to compete at scale,” according to Digiday.
  • Reuters will face a lot of competition. Publishers like the Financial Times, Bloomberg and Business Insider also chasing this high-value business leader audience with long-established events.

Hot off the press: Despite being independent for less than a week, Quartz has seen a record week for membership sign-ups following their announcement. The membership scheme, now a year old, has over 25,000 paying members.

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