Popular Mechanics aces the digizine challenge

Date:4 April 2014

Sci-tech magazine Popular Mechanics has achieved an impressive sales result for its digital edition, recording a figure of 4 613 in March – significantly better than competing male-interest titles, and accounting for more than half of the category’s total.

Editor and publisher Alan Duggan attributes the title’s digizine success (it’s by far the best performer in South Africa’s consumer magazine world) to “a compelling mix of useful information, thought-provoking content and plenty of opportunities for engagement with our audience”, adding: “Our readers enjoy its immediacy, and the fact that they can access the magazine from anywhere in the world.”

As an example of PM’s eclectic (some might say eccentric) offering, Duggan cites articles from the April issue featuring a 1 600 km/h rocket car, a close-up view of an ICBM launch, a man who converted his car to battery power, a slightly scary piece on cruise ships, and “lots of cool gadgets, most of which you probably don’t need”.

He adds: “Our acquisition by Caxton (which recently purchased the remaining shares of RamsayMedia) opens up all sorts of interesting opportunities, not least the potential for cross-fertilisation among the publications in the two stables. We are already exploring the synergies, and fully expect measurable results.”

Popular Mechanics will soon announce details of its FutureTech 2014 conference, an event forming part of the official World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 programme. The conference, and its associated Inventor of the Year competition, has been underwritten by Autodesk, a US-based multinational provider of 3D CAD software. The magazine is also planning a number of precursor events under the banner of “Altered Realities” – theme for its activities during 2014.

* To subscribe to the digital edition of Popular Mechanics, visit http://bit.ly/pm-subscribe

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