Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck on going against the tide - Reuters News Agency

Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck on going against the tide

What do east London coffee shop consumers have in common with Monocle readers? Andrew Tuck, editor of Monocle believes the answer lies in enjoying tactile experiences.

Dec 5, 2017

At Journalism.co.uk’s 20th newsrewired conference, Tuck spoke about Monocle’s ten-year journey and how the global affairs and lifestyle magazine’s print and digital strategy  “goes against the tide”.

“The media world is rushing away from tactile experiences but that’s the touch point Monocle is trying to reach,” said Tuck.

With its own cafe in London, the magazine’s audience is growing and sells 81,250 magazines per month.

So what can news publishers learn from Monocle’s digital and print strategy?

The media world is rushing away from tactile experiences but that’s the touch point Monocle is trying to reach,” said Tuck.

1. It’s good to be slow

“They (millennials) are very adept to being two speed. High speed and low speed. People are going to be a much more complicated and interesting consumers than most people think. Sometimes it’s good to be slow,” said Tuck.

Taking the slow lane benefited Monocle who chose not to invest in iPad formats a few years ago. “Many of my friends went to work for those team (iPad teams). All of those team have just about gone now because all the news rushed to mobile…Sometimes it’s good to be slow.”

2. It’s good to be small

Monocle’s team totals 120 staff from the people than run the cafe to the film team.

Speaking of the benefits of being a small team, Tuck said, “We are tiny. It has forced us every single day to be nimble and we have never ever been able to take on a duty that we can’t deliver on”.

3. Nothing is for free.

Reuters Institute research found that quality and brand are important drivers for encouraging consumers to pay for news.

At Monocle, nothing is free. Readers that visit Monocole’s website are met with a paywall. Though Tuck explains that this approach is beneficial for Monocle’s brand.

“We don’t give anything for free. If you go into a plane or a hotel and you see a copy, someone has paid for it. If you go on our site, there is a paywall,” says Tuck.

He added, “Paper is luxury. We cannot move the advertiser across to digital in the the same way they get print. If you put a magazine down on your desk, in your office or in your home and someone else sees it (an advert), That is the exposure for luxury brands. Exposure is important.”

4. Host events to engage with your audience

Monocle organizes 60 events each year. Unlike many media players, the magazine does not depend on big data to inform who their audience are.

He said, “We don’t use Facebook, we don’t do any Twitter. We don’t have an Instagram account. We have no intention until we see how it makes money for us. We are not rolling news. We don’t need clicks”.

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