90 years of Australia’s oldest monthly magazine Home Beautiful

Editor Wendy Moore on Home Beautiful turning 90, the competition from user-generated content and its focus for 2016

By Kruti Joshi

This year marked 90 years of Pacific Magazines’ lifestyle title Home Beautiful.

Originally launched in 1923 as Australian Home Builder, it was rebranded as Australian Home Beautiful in 1925. Since then the title has only had 10 editors with Wendy Moore being the current one.

The name change was the “golden nugget”, Moore told Mediaweek, speaking from the title’s Christmas party.

“It’s not just that Australians love to own their homes, Australians love their homes. Just having a home isn’t good enough. Having a home you love is always the aim,” she said.

The secret to the magazine’s longevity is the attainability of the products and ideas that the brand brings to its audience.

“We have really keen eye on the products we feature and how affordable they are and how attainable it is.

“That sense of surprise, ‘Not only have I fallen in love with it, but I can actually have it,’ is what makes people so interested and has them coming back for more.

“In the last 10 years we’ve grown by 60% in our circulation. So that relevance has actually gotten stronger,” Moore declared.

Having turned 90 this year, Home Beautiful is now Australia’s “longest-running monthly magazine,” Moore claimed.

“We’ve gone very quickly from a point
where people are hungry for information
to where people are hungry
for edited information.”

“I’ve worked in magazines now for over 25 years…having worked on so many magazines and seen so many magazines in my time that haven’t survived, you really get a sense of how amazing it is to achieve that.”

In an age of DIYs and user-generated content, how can titles set their content apart?

“Digital has been such a buzz word, but I think it’s starting to consolidate now into, ‘This is our message. How do we get that across? What are the different platforms we can use? How can you offer that?’

“At the end of the day, we are in a world where anyone can be a content producer. So that means the brands and the editors are key.

“We’ve gone very quickly from a point where people are hungry for information to where people are hungry for edited information. For us, being the filter of all the information out there and presenting what our audience really want to know is the real difference.”

In the last 10 years, Moore has led the title to becoming a 360-brand with social, digital, print, and mobile presence. This year, Home Beautiful has been about seamlessly adapting content for different platforms. This practice will increase in 2016, Moore said.

“There is so much choice out there that we are getting to a point of choice paralysis where people are just going to be seeking out curated content.

“For printed magazines and lifestyle titles, like ours, are definitely going to survive and probably thrive because it represents a real escape and me time that will grow in its need from an audience point of view.

“But the way we approach our content will continue to change. Our aim is to have one story published many times in different formats over different platforms…None replicates the others but all complement each other.

“The move to replicating your content on different platforms will definitely change,” Moore summed up.

CV: Wendy Moore

“I started as a copy girl 27 years ago. So I’ve been working in magazines since I left high school, and I have pretty much worked my way through it all. I have been the editor of Home Beautiful for 10 years. But I have worked on a lot of magazines in senior roles. For me it’s about working in quite a few different genres and really getting to know, not just the magazine industry, but also the communications industry, the audience industry, and understanding all the different ways of communicating with people.”

Moore’s pick of her favourite covers:



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