Monday, November 09, 2009

Is "Cool" Recession-Resistant?

(image via brooklynvegan)

Don't think the title of this blog post suggests that the author is some arbiter of cool. Quite the contrary. Our enduring love of the Howard Stern Show and, even more deplorably, the new TV show "V" should automatically set off red flags as to our trustworthiness as a taste maker (Averted Gaze). We know, for example, that fast food is recession-resistant. But what about "Cool." Is "Coolness" recession-resistant? It certainly does well when the economy is going gangbusters and everyone has discretionary cash for luxury, for cool. But what about when the economy is in a negative cycle? Paper magazine, if you've attended any of their recent parties or seen the sumptuous ads in their pages, appears to have bucked the recession. People, presumably not just the wealthy in Abu Dhabi, are still finding a way to get their iPhones and tech gadgets. The flattening of the world has not affected Apple Computer's bottom line. Liquor companies are still foisting cases on the party scene in NY and LA. From Forbes:

"Paper Publishing has been trying for years to diversify. With revenue from the magazine falling, the company created Buzzeteria in 2007, an ad network that shills space on other niche online publications, including music blog, fashion gossip site and Wall Street scandal sheet Revenues from the network are up 55% year to date, the company says.

"As well, Paper Publishing has sought to make money by connecting the corporate world of advertisers and manufacturers with the artists and designers it covers. Last year, it recruited 28-year-old Drew Elliott, Paper's former marketing head, to revive its branding, trend forecasting and event production arm called Extra Extra, which had been virtually dormant since its creation six years ago. Revenues in the division increased nine-fold in the last year. Hastreiter says she expects a growth rate of at least 100% next year. Each division--the magazine, consulting division Extra Extra and Buzzeteria--produces a third of Paper Publishing's total revenue."

Attending some NYC media parties recently, and observing the tech sector's rise --and the tech sector, like it or not, is now Revenge-of-the-Nerds cool -- it is not clear to me that the things we associate with the discretionary capital of trustafarians is nearly as affected by the recession as, say, manufacturing. Any thoughts?

1 comment:

anitagwheeler said...

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