In what Outside Inc. says is an effort to speed its transition to a digital-first publisher, the Boulder company is laying off staff and reducing the number of titles it prints.
The move reverses a recent growth period that’s seen Outside add, through acquisition, a number of companies to its stable of active lifestyle publications and services.
“Outside has grown tremendously over the past two years, with 20 acquisitions and a quadrupled paid membership to more than 800,000 paid subscribers, but growth often necessitates change. In line with what many in the media industry have seen as the future of media, we are making a concerted shift from a high volume of print to a greater focus on immersive video and digital storytelling,” the company told BizWest in an email statement Monday. “With this shift, Outside made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce headcount. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has played an active role in helping the brand progress toward our vision of being the leading platform for outdoor content, services, and activity.”
Denver Business Journal first reported that Outside is laying off about 15% of its roughly 580 workers.
Outside-owned SKI Magazine’s editor Sierra Shafer said in a now-deleted tweet that 80% of the company’s print publications will be eliminated, with some monthly titles moving to an annual publishing schedule and others eliminated altogether.
Outside Inc., as it is constituted, came into being last year after Pocket Outdoor Media Inc., a Boulder magazine publisher that specialized in active lifestyle content and experiences, purchased Outside Integrated Media LLC, the publisher of the iconic bible of the outdoor world, Outside magazine.
The acquisitions resulted from the closing of the Pocket’s series B financing, which enabled investments in audience, technology, and product development, according to information supplied by the company in announcing the additions. The company’s series B financing was led by Seqouia Capital Operations LLC, which invested $150 million in the company and gained a position on the company’s board of directors.
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