Publishing Business Interview: Vector Media Looks Beyond the Bus to Rebrand, Expand
Last winter, Vector Media launched a new print tourism magazine into an already crowded New York market: HotSTOPS. The business model was built on partnerships with tour bus operators, and the magazine flourished. Seven issues in, Vector has decided to rebrand the magazine as New York City Monthly Powered by HotSTOPS, and expand the publication's focus to encompass all types of tourists, not just those who take bus tours. In addition to tour buses, the magazine will now be distributed in hotels, airport shuttles and luxury black cars.
New York City Monthly Powered by HotSTOPS aspires to be a complete resource, with original neighborhood guides, reviews, interviews, maps and special offers. Not surprisingly, Vector is also launching a new mobile website, NYCMonthly.com, and expanding its social media footprint. The publisher expects to build significantly on its August circulation of 45,000.
Publishing Business Today asked Bill Schwartz, Founder and CEO of Vector Media, about the rebranding, expansion and new focus.
PBT: Why did you decide now was the time to rebrand HotSTOPS?
Bill Schwartz: With the fast success of HotSTOPS' first six issues we started getting interest from the high end NYC hotels inquiring about us distributing the magazine to their guests. We realized that we'd built a magazine that had appeal even beyond the sightseeing tours. Our content was covering the city so well that all tourists were attracted to us as their ultimate visitors guide. We wanted to tie the name in with what the content was highlighting so well… New York City itself. We recognized that as New York City Monthly we would be the most recognizable to the tourists who wanted the best maps of the city, highlights for shopping, shows and museums and information about what was happening that month during their visit.
PBT: How do you keep the magazine targeted while expanding its focus to different types of visitors?