Fin Magazine editor Matthew Drummond on the AFR’s newest title

AFR Magazine

• “If success is the guardrail for AFR Magazine, then style is the guardrail for Fin Magazine”

This morning the Australian Financial Review will lift the lid on the first issue of its new glossy lifestyle publication, Fin Magazine. Inserted quarterly into the Financial Review newspaper, Fin Magazine will inspire readers with the best in fashion, design, watches, jewellery, motoring, art, and travel. 

The magazine was officially launched last night at an event in Sydney’s Hotel Centennial that saw Nine client director, luxury & travel, Amanda Upton and Fin Magazine editor Matthew Drummond speak on behalf of the team that put the publication together, thanking everyone for their hard work and their belief in the title.

Mediaweek spoke to Matthew Drummond about launching Fin Magazine and what readers can expect.

After the AFR pressed pause on titles like Sophisticated Traveller and Luxury due to pandemic restraints, Drummond says that the space left behind gave the team room to test other ideas.

“During the pandemic we kept publishing AFR Magazine every month as usual, and we also experimented with glossy editions of Life & Leisure, which is our weekly lifestyle supplement. Experimenting with glossy editions of Life & Leisure for about a year and a half gave us a real sense of how far we could push that, and whether there was an appetite for a new glossy lifestyle magazine. 

“The pausing of the quarterly titles at the start of the pandemic meant there was space for a new lifestyle title at the Financial Review, because while AFR Magazine has good support from luxury advertisers, it’s not a pure play lifestyle title.”

As well as editing Fin Magazine, Drummond edits AFR Magazine. While the two titles complement each other, they’re also very different entities.

AFR Magazine is the home of the Financial Review Rich List, the Young Rich List, the Power Lists, the Philanthropy 50 list. Fin Magazine is a pure play lifestyle title – it’s softer, it’s more visual, it’s an easier read. 

“There are elements of some possible overlap. We do two fashion issues a year at AFR Magazine, but even when we do fashion, we’re always looking for businesses at the very top of the luxury fashion industry. If success is the guardrail for AFR Magazine, then style is the guardrail for Fin Magazine.”

Fin Magazine

Amongst other lifestyle titles, Drummond says that Fin Magazine has a particular advantage that makes it stand out from the crowd: a connection to the audience of the Financial Review.

“It connects to an unrivalled audience in terms of scale and high net worth households. You would not find another fashion title or style title that has access to the same calibre of audience as Fin Magazine does

That audience is growing steadily, with sister title AFR Magazine an example of what may be to come.

“One of the strengths of AFR Magazine has been the way in which we market the print product to the growing digital subscriber base of the Financial Review. Roy Morgan shows that AFR Magazine’s print readership is up by about 50% year on year to 450,000 readers. It’s an achievement that we’re very proud of.”

The cover of the first issue features Kirsha Kaechele – artist, curator, and wife of MONA founder David Walsh – wearing a Comme des Garcons skirt as she emerges from a 1960s ‘Futuro Pod’.

“She actually wasn’t Plan A for the cover,” says Drummond. “Plan A for the cover was Marc Newson and Charlotte Stockdale. We went to Greece to see their holiday house on the island of Ithaca, we did a beautiful photoshoot, it looked great on the cover – but I kept coming back to the photos that we had of Kirsha in that skirt from Comme des Garcons popping out of that 1960s Futuro Pod.

“It’s the vibe of the magazine that we want to create: it’s fun, it’s irreverent, it’s very eye catching. It’s possibly not what you’d expect from the Financial Review.”

Sometimes an image is more than just an image, and for Drummond, this was one of those moments.

“I feel really humbled. We gave her concepts of how we want to do things, and she really shaped that cover. I think we’ve got the mark of an artist on our cover, which is something that’s quite thrilling.”

The brand new magazine brings with it a brand new suite of commercial opportunities. Drummond says that the team have a fresh page and the ability to mould the title in a way that will suit the market in 2022 and beyond.

“We will be open to doing sponsored content in Fin Magazineit would probably suit as a title that will connect with luxury brands around events

“Commercially, it works as a really nice sibling to AFR Magazine, in giving advertisers a more visual, more relaxed, and lighter environment in which to appear.”

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