Ambitious mag aims to hit 100,000 subscribers by Eurobike 2014; ‘The enduro market is maturing’

IMB mag hails digital growth

Digital magazine IMB has seen growth resulting in its readership growing in excess of 57,000, from 26,000 at Eurobike 2012.

According to publishing editor Rou Chater, IMB (International Mountain Bike Magazine) is thriving because it was built for digital, rather than a print mag attempting to make work in the digital sector. IMB has ambitions to hit 100,000 readers by Eurobike 2014 and build on its 29,000 subscriber base.

Chater said: “That might seem like a huge ask, but we are on target to double our readership this year, and with our current plans don’t see that being an issue next year either. In terms of the content we are reaching out to contributors all over the world, ensuring the stories are fresh and the images and videos are world class. We are a small team at the moment, but want that to change over the next year.”

IMB has launched free apps, which have been downloaded to over 36,000 devices.

Chater told BikeBiz: “We have an aggressive marketing strategy online, maximising our spend and ensuring every click we pay for is converted, not only to a reader, but also a subscriber and a ‘like’ on Facebook, so we are reaching out to those people issue after issue.

“The magazine is well balanced, entertaining and filled with great stories, photos and videos. We have a huge popular technique section with an average of 20 pages and 45 minutes worth of technique videos every issue.”

Despite MTB failing to grab its share of the headlines post London 2012 and Wiggins winning Le Tour, there’s plenty of good news in the mountain bike sector at the moment, argues Chater: “It’s getting a bad rap at the moment, at a recent show I had to really hunt down any MTB gear, and that’s a shame. Road cycling has this huge momentum behind it right now, and that’s great, the Olympics, Wiggins winning the Tour, you can’t argue with the amount of mainstream media that the sport has gleaned.

"Sadly mountain biking hasn’t enjoyed that spotlight, and considering it is an Olympic sport that is a shame – we didn’t get the boost that road cycling did from London 2012. However, that doesn’t mean the sport is dying, for sure the distributors and shops will look at their bottom line, and see the huge road cycling numbers and push into that sector while the momentum is there. You only have to go to a trail centre at the weekend though, or look at the development of the Enduro scene with all the races being sold out well in advance to see that MTB is still there. I’d argue it is growing right now, not as fast as the road side of things but there is growth. As mountain bikers in the UK we have endured one of the worst summers on record and the longest winter in recent years, but when the sun comes out the bikes and riders are plain to see.

"A lot of hardcore mountain bikers have bought into the road cycling market too, fed up with the tiresome mud slogging they have opted to jump on a road bike, stay cleanish and still keep up the fitness.

“Over the next year as Enduro matures the growth will continue. It’s mountain biking for the masses and a lot of riders feel an affinity towards it.”

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