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Motor Trend to Launch Roadkill Magazine

You may have heard of Motor Trend's YouTube series "Roadkill".  Aimed at millennial car lovers, this series will soon become a print magazine.

Starting in September, Motor Trend will go against the digital trends by putting out a quarterly magazine based on their YouTube series.  The 66-year-old magazine has enjoyed plenty of success with their YouTube series and hopes that the magazine will do just as well.

The unique twist to this switch-up is that consumers will be charged $9.99 per issue of the magazine, while the YouTube series is free to watch.

Motor Trend's YouTube channel features multiple original series targeting car lovers, such as "Ignition" and "Hot Rod Garage".  These channels have a whopping 3.3 million subscribers, but still don't scratch the surface of the followers for the "Roadkill" series.  The series runs new episodes every fourth Friday and has become quite the hit.

"It's guys behaving badly with cars," said Scott Dickey, chief executive at Ten: The Enthusiast Network.

Episodes of "Roadkill" range from 20 to 40 minutes in length, and some individual episodes have exceeed 3 million views.  Motor Trend decided to take a stab at a print magazine for this engaged audience.

"We don't think print is a dying business," said Dickey.  "We do make a bunch of money in print.  And with millennials, they're not opposed to print.  They just didn't grow up with it."

Many companies are currently embracing technology and shying away from print media as magazine revenues are expected to be flat this year.  Content via social and mobile media is being shown more interest than any other area, yet Motor Trend is still moving forward with their print magazine.

Both executives argued that with enthusiast content like cars, a print product should do ver ywell.

When the company first started a Facebook page for "Roadkill", it generated 30,000 likes within the weekend before the company had even posted any content.

"It's really just the production costs now," said Mr. Mackenzie, Ten's chief content officer.  They have not yet hired any new staff for this project.  "The risk is low.  And the video show will remain the engine of the brand."

Motor Trend will be focusing more on the magazine content itself before bringing in advertisers.  Tim Kuniskis, president and chief executive of Dodge and SRT Brands, believes that auto enthusiasts are a different kind of consumer and should be receptive to print materials.

"I know this customer," he said.  "They collect this information, and they consume massive quantities online of everything we can feed them.  Inevitably, they have a stack of magazines in their house."