How magazine publishers are finding success in online video
apr 2013 14

A number of magazine publishers have become media companies, having shifted from producing monthly print titles to daily videos. Several are making significant revenue from YouTube in addition to the money they bring in through online video plays on their own sites. In this feature we look at how four publishers – Dennis Publishing, Future, IPC and Vice – have moved beyond magazines and are now producing videos for their existing audiences and to attract new ones.

Types of video

The four publishers are producing a range of videos, tackling a huge variety of subjects, with production values ranging from videos lasting a few seconds and shot on a phone, to hour-long documentaries filmed on high-end HD cameras. At the top end of the scale in terms of production, Vice, which started out as a fanzine and now has offices in 34 countries, has just produced a series for HBO. Elsewhere, the best performing video for Dennis Publishing is footage of a car auction shot on an smartphone. Vice’s first documentary for HBO aired in the US last Friday – tackling the weighty subjects of political assassinations in the Philippines and child suicide bombers in Afghanistan (it is not available to view in the UK but you can see a trailer). Vice may have started out as all about “sex, drugs and rock and roll”, but now sees its role as engaging people in their teens and twenties in news and current affairs. While Vice is tackling subjects such as heavy metal in Baghdad, football rivalry in Glasgow and a tour of the hallucinogens of the Amazon, the other three publishers we spoke to have found success elsewhere. Around one third of Dennis Publishing’s portfolio is motoring, with titles such as Auto Express and evo lending themselves well to HD films of cars, not dissimilar to the sort of features which appear within programmes like Top Gear. Men’s Fitness, another Dennis title, meanwhile, has found success in producing fitness videos showing followers how to do particular exercises. Future, known for titles including T3 and TechRadar, is making videos in the technology space, covering the rumour and build-up to the launch of a product, the unboxing of a new phone, tablet or gadget, and the post-launch analysis, hands-on reviews and subsequent release of related accessories. IPC title NME lends itself to music-related films, offering band interviews, performances, and a series where musicians explain how they wrote a song and the inspiration for it. (from