New York Magazine's Latest Subscription Ploy

Buy a Ticket to a Hip Event, Get a Year's Worth of the Weekly

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- It isn't easy for magazines to sell subscriptions to all those 20-something readers advertisers so desperately want to reach. Plenty of titles sponsor hip events where presumed tastemakers and cash-rich kids gather, but that just provides exposure -- not necessarily new paying readers.
The event series starts April 14 with a concert featuring band Of Montreal.
The event series starts April 14 with a concert featuring band Of Montreal.

So New York magazine is trying to get the kids on board with an event series called New York by New York that will include subscriptions in the price of each ticket.

Reaching out
For the $20 cost of attending the first event April 14, for example, consumers will see the band Of Montreal play one set on its own and another backing up audience members in karaoke; watch comedian Michael Showalter perform hosting duties; and receive a one-year subscription to New York.

"It's often hard to find the young subscriber," said Ken Sheldon, circulation director, New York. "They're not on direct-mail lists. Subscription agents don't really contact them all that much. To reach out to them, we don't have a lot of venues and this was one way that we could try."

'Bad art,' 'secret kitchen'
Future events, which will come about once a month through September and sell tickets for $20 to $30, will include a "bad art" auction curated by art-world types and a "secret kitchen" dinner party hosted by a celebrity chef and a band. A mini magazine about the series is planned for free distribution and downloads. Verizon, Diesel and Pom are signed on to sponsor.

For the circulation wonks out there, Mr. Sheldon said the subscriptions count under Audit Bureau of Circulations rules as deductible partnerships, meaning any ticket buyers who don't want to receive the subscription to New York can attend at a lower price.
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