Cottage Life expands westward with new show, rebranded mag

December 04, 2013  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Blue Ant Media is creating a true cottage industry. Its Cottage Life Media division announced plans to grow its presence in Western Canada this week, with the launch of a new Edmonton-based consumer show and a rebrand of its Cottage magazine as Cottage Life West, beginning with its March issue.

It is part of a strategy by Blue Ant Media to reach an affluent (average household income of more than $110,000), highly targeted audience across the country, said Cottage Life Media president Al Zikovitz.

While there will be some duplication of content including recipes and how-to guides between Cottage Life and the new Cottage Life West, Zikovitz said that between 50-60% of the content in the latter will be exclusive.

The company has also reduced Cottage Life West’s frequency from seven to six time per year, and harmonized the publishing schedules for the two titles so that they will now come out no more than a week apart.

Blue Ant’s projections call for Cottage Life West’s paid circulation to increase to approximately 25,000 from 7,5000 currently. Its advertiser base is currently comprised largely of regional advertisers, but Zikovitz said he expects to add more national advertisers, particularly in categories such as financial services and automotive (“no car, no cottage,” he says).

Audiences for the two titles are similar, split almost equally between male and female readers, although there are some notable differences for audiences in Eastern and Western Canada. While Cottage Life caters more to shoreline cottage owners, Cottage Life West also appeals to people who own cabins or chalets. “It just covers a much broader market than what we have here,” said Zikovitz.

Cottage Life Media also announced the launch of a new consumer show called the Edmonton Cottage Life & Cabin Show, which joins two existing shows in Toronto. Zikovitz called the Toronto shows a “highly profitable” venture, with its 20-year-old spring show attracing 500 exhibitors. “If you want to be an exhibitor you get in line,” he said. Paid attendance of 40,000 over three days.

“I think they’re just crying for a show out west, and Edmonton is a perfect location,” said Zikovitz, who said the company expects more than 100 exhibitors and between 10,000 and 12,000 attendees for the inaugural show.

The recreational living sector is an important vertical for Blue Ant Media, which acquired Cottage Life Media for an undisclosed sum in December 2012 and launched the digital TV service Cottage Life in September.

“What we really want to do is fully cover that cottage market, so we’re just a natural place to go for anybody who’s a cottage, cabin or chalet [owner] and wants information,” said Zikovitz. “Whether it’s watching on TV [, reading in the magazine or see the products or services at a show.”

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