This week, BusinessofFashion.com reported that the globally renowned fashion and culture
magazine Dazed & Confused will be scaling back to just six print editions in 2014, as part of the
Dazed Group’s long term strategic refocus on digital content. This decision could prove to be
indicative of a wider mind-set; British fashion publication i-D made a similar move all the way back in
Founder and editorial director of the Dazed Group, Jefferson Hack, believes that it is up to publishers
to adapt to evolving reading habits: “Now, mobile is in people’s hands every day and they are getting
their news and fix of culture from a mix of media. So, the print magazine has to become something
more than it was. It has to become a printed manifesto and make a radical statement with more
elaborate photography and more inspiring content.”
In addition to expanding its online presence and brand, the Dazed Group will continue to refine its
physical output. “What we have discussed internally is a complete upgrade of what a magazine is –
in the software (the content mix), the user interface (the design and tone of voice) and the hardware
(the quality of the paper and packaging),” says Hack.
DazedDigital.com has had a pretty good year; advertising revenues have gone up more than 30%
and the site has doubled its number of monthly visitors to 787,000 in the last year (this is estimated
to reach 1 million unique monthly visitors in the first quarter of 2014). Prioritising digital will enable
Dazed to deliver timely and tailored content to its audience, and Hack is also keen to capitalise on
the growing video space with the recent launch of Dazed Vision. It is predicted that by 2017, video
content will drive over 70% of online consumer traffic. Says Hack: “The video revolution reminds
me of the photography revolution in the late 1990s and early 2000s… We are interested in truly
independent storytellers who have a vision that supports our ethos.” Such storytellers include Bjork
and James Franco.
“We have finally moved from being a print publisher to being a digital first publisher,” states Hack.
“Print is still a massive part of our business, but we think of it as existing in a digital paradigm.”