Monocle (media company)
Cover of the first issue of Monocle magazine (March 2007)
|Editor in Chief & Chairman||Tyler Brûlé|
|Categories||Culture, international affairs, design, fashion, politics, business|
|Frequency||10 issues a year, plus two large-format newspapers: Monocle Alpino and Monocle Mediterraneo|
|First issue||15 February 2007|
|Based in||London, UK, with offices in New York, Tokyo, Toronto, Hong Kong, and Zurich|
Monocle is a global affairs and lifestyle magazine, 24-hour radio station, website, and media brand, all produced by Winkontent Ltd. It was founded by Tyler Brûlé, a Canadian entrepreneur, Financial Times columnist, and previously founder of Wallpaper* magazine. Described by CBC News reporter Harry Forestell as a "meeting between Foreign Policy and Vanity Fair", the magazine aims to provide a global perspective on international affairs, business, culture, design, and fashion. The magazine is edited by Andrew Tuck.
The magazine launched on 15 February 2007, priced at 12 euros, 6 GBP, 12 USD with articles on subjects including the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, Chinese investment in Africa, and the best Portuguese-language Sunday newspapers. Subscriptions cost £90 annually (10 issues, plus two newspapers). In New Zealand, single issues sell for $18 each, in Japan for ¥2,310, in Switzerland for 20CHF, and in Spain for €11.
Along with a small group of private investors, Brûlé created and financed Monocle, a 10-times-a-year print magazine, in 2007. Brûlé believed there was a place in the market for a magazine with no regional editions, all in English, that addressed a mobile global audience interested in discovering best practice and people benchmarking success in everything from city governance to simple architecture. Hamilton Nolan, editor for Gawker, described it as "a lifestyle magazine for young, stylish, business-oriented jetsetters who receive free subscriptions". It had also previously been described on Gawker as a "travel-culture magazine" and a repository of "lifestyle sensuality and gaywad uptightness".
In June 2010, Monocle launched a summer newspaper, Monocle Mediterraneo. The newspaper directly opposed the iPad trend, with Brûlé declaring you cannot read an iPad on the beach. In December 2010 Monocle launched a winter newspaper, Monocle Alpino. Each sells for 4 GBP. The magazine believes in print media and has neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account.
As well as regular advertisements, Monocle runs "advertorials". In the September 2009 issue, for example, there was a large insert on Singapore, with a survey paid for by its government and several large companies there, but articles generated by the magazine staff in the style of the magazine.
Monocle has also carried separate surveys on a wide range of cities, countries and regions including Rio de Janeiro, Helsinki, Tokyo, São Paulo, Sydney, and Hong Kong.The magazine has opened a series of traditional bureaux in New York, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Tokyo and has developed a network of correspondents around the globe who are listed on the magazine's masthead. These correspondents are in Beirut, Paris, Cape Town, Washington, Nairobi, Jerusalem, and Santiago, among other places.
Monocle's website contains magazine archive content that is only available to paid subscribers. It also contains 250 films, slideshows and documentaries that are available to the public, and a daily opinion piece, "The Monocolumn", written by the Monocle team and their correspondents. The film content is also available on iTunes.
The website sells design and fashion products developed in collaboration with brands that have included Comme des Garçons, Delvaux, Maison Kitsune, Orlebar Brown, Aspesi, and Malmsten. These are also sold in Monocle shops in London, Hong Kong, Toronto, and New York, as well as a series of seasonal pop-up stores which have appeared in Istanbul, Beirut, Bangkok, Mallorca, and Singapore.
Monocle's internet radio station, Monocle 24 can also be accessed from the website. Listeners can tune in live or browse the archive of all the station's speech-based shows.
Initially launched alongside the magazine in 2007, the website was redesigned in November 2012. In 2013, the relaunched website picked up several awards at The Lovie Awards including a Gold award for Best Writing- Editorial, Silver for Lifestyle and Bronze for Best Practices.
In December 2008, Monocle launched the Monocle Weekly, a weekly radio programme/podcast, hosted by Tyler Brûlé, Andrew Tuck and culture editor, Robert Bound discussing affairs and hot topics from around the globe. The show was recorded in studios around the world, including Tokyo, Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro, London, and Sydney.
Following the popularity of the Monocle Weekly, the company launched Monocle 24 on 17 October 2011, styled on the BBC World Service. The internet based radio station, broadcast from studios on the ground floor of Monocle's Marylebone offices, is live 24 hours a day. When asked why the magazine was expanding into radio Brûlé said: "It's still, after almost a century of regular broadcasts, the most intimate medium in an ever expanding buffet of choice". Monocle 24 broadcasts live daily current affairs shows—The Globalist, The Briefing, Midori House, The Globalist Asia and The Monocle Daily as well as weekly shows devoted to culture, food, urbanism, business, and design. The shows are hosted and curated by the magazine's editors and see 2.5 million downloads a month. Monocle 24 has a content-sharing agreement with Radio National in Australia that includes its Culture programme and The Urbanist and also sells its shows to the CBC in Canada. Programmes can be listened to live or downloaded at monocle.com and are also available on iTunes.
Monocle 24 has also regularly taken its shows on the road to report on the US presidential elections, the London Olympics and the future of design in Thailand.
Monocle has also announced that it will be publishing a series of books with the German publisher Gestalten. The first of these, The Monocle Guide to Better Living, was published in September 2013.
In April 2013, Monocle opened the Monocle Café at 18 Chiltern Street, London W1. Its interior was designed by the magazine's senior designer Yoshi Takagi in conjunction with EDO Construction. The café sells Allpress coffee and a library of Monocle magazines. The company also has a café in Tokyo in the Hankyu Men's department store with furniture made by Maruni.
Since 2010, Monocle has also published an annual Soft Power Survey ranking countries according to their ability to promote themselves in the world via culture, diplomacy and trade. In 2013, Germany was the winner.
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