Gourmet Traveller enters podcast space, refreshes magazine

Bauer Media’s Gourmet Traveller is hoping to offer readers a “promise of something new”, as its refreshes its brand and launches its first podcast series.

The refreshed magazine comes three months after the appointment of Sarah Oakes as editor and aims to engage a wider audience, no longer defined by demographics.

The September issue, which launches today

Oakes replaced Anthea Loucas, one of Bauer’s longest-standing major magazine bosses, who held the title of editor-in-chief for 13 years, last December.

The launch came from a re-assessment of Gourmet Traveller’s audience, said Oakes: “We assessed who the Gourmet Traveller reader is, and we used to be able to easily identify them by their age, and by their income, and what’s happening now is food, and people who are really passionate about food, they cross all demographics.”

One of the major components of the relaunch is Gourmet Traveller’s move into podcasting, with the first series – Set Menu – going live today.

The podcasts will offer new opportunities to complement the magazines, as well as respond to the news cycle, Oakes said.

Set Menu, will be available to download from iTunes, and features Gourmet Traveller’s managing editor and food critic Pat Nourse, being interviewed by award winning chef Mark Best on the eve of the 2018 Restaurant Awards, about how to review restaurants.

Asked why the magazine was entering the space, Oakes said it was an area that all brands should be in.

“Certainly in Australia with the vibrant dining culture we have here, the kind of access that the Gourmet Traveller has really lends itself to being an interesting new dimension for the brand,” she explained.

“We are doing it because we need to be doing it, it’s a place we should be in, and it’s a natural fit for us.”

Oakes said while the podcasts would not begin with a sponsor, they would look to monetise them once the audiences are built.

New Gourmet Traveller editor, Sarah Oakes, wants to build on Loucas’ legacy

“I see us being able to turn this into series on particular topics and things that might suit our advertisers. They might sponsor a six part series, on a particular theme like coffee, on vegetarian cooking,” she said.

“I see it as having a lot of potential for our advertisers, we just need to deliver those numbers first, which I’m confident we will do.”

She also said she saw Gourmet Traveller growing a “small network of podcasts”, potentially focused on travel as well.

All brands should be looking to enter the podcast space, Oakes says

“I’d love to see the frequency increase, I’d love to be doing a weekly podcast, I’d love to explore other areas relative to the title where we could do separate executions,” she said.

The magazine will also include more long form food stories, a monthly section on clean eating, a section in up skilling, which will provide readers with the skills to execute “more challenging recipes,” and a focus on regional culinary centres in Australia.

Oakes said travel will also feature towards the beginning of the publication.

“We really want to increase the visibility of travel in the magazine, more travel pages upfront,” Oakes said.

“We’ve dissolved the separate travel and food news sections, and put them together at the very front of the book. Also in travel, (there will be) a focus on design and architecture, which is a really integral part of why we travel, and how we travel, and the way businesses are executing design and architecture within new hotels,”

Oakes said she was not moving away from Loucas’ vision, but look to build on what she had created.

“I have the deepest respect for Anthea and the work she did here,” Oakes said.

“Even though we are refreshing the magazines, and making some changes, our core values of integrity, elegance and authority will never change.

“We are just looking to extend that work and build on it, and offer readers a promise of something new.”

To mark the magazine relaunch, Gourmet Traveller has also partnered with Melbourne’s Lune croissants in a pop-up activation, offering free croissants to Sydney readers who take a copy of the September issue to Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills.

The launch will also be supported by a campaign on SBS.

Cornelia Schulze, general manager of homes and food, said the magazine’s new podcast offering, and refresh will provide advertisers with new opportunities.

“We are making a bit of a switch towards attitudinal and behavioural segmentation of the audience we reach out to, simply because you are no longer defined by your age so much or your income,” she explained to Mumbrella.

“What certainly is ever evolving and ever growing with a brand like Gourmet Traveller…is that with every additional touchpoint we offer, whether it is a podcast, our social presence, whether it’s digital, whether it’s the new look magazine, there’s always additional touch points for advertisers.

Schulze: More advertisers will get on board

“What we see is, much like there’s no one size fits all when it comes to demographic positioning, there’s no one size fits all with advertisers either.”

She said she “firmly” believed additional advertisers would be interested in the magazine after the refresh.

“Those who do see the value of such a premium lifestyle offering, those who do see the connection that food and travel have these days and what that means for the people who are reading the content from Gourmet Traveller.”


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