2 FOR LIFE MEDIA INC.
What began as a couples-oriented print magazine has developed into all digital company.
In 2004, Diane Hall, 2 for Life Media Inc. founder and president, launched 2 for Couples, a newsstand magazine that was also delivered to 80,000 couples through the Hudson’s Bay Gift Registry. Modelled on publications like Blueprint and Readymade, [2 for Couples was a lifestyle magazine for millennial couples.
Guy-friendly and gender neutral, the magazine used humour as a narrative device and presented content in a fresh, entertaining format. It also maintained an online presence, something that became increasingly important as the business developed over time.
Recognizing early on that embracing digital meant packaging content specifically for an audience that was consuming it via a website, they pivoted quickly to developing content for mobile devices and tablets.
“We were the first magazine in Canada to build an iPad app,” said Hall. “We have gone beyond designing for the magazine page, but are using all of our magazine experience to do it.” Content is searchable, images are “thumb-stopping”, and articles are shorter and more visual.
2 for Life Media Inc. now offers a suite of three apps: 2life, 2life Weddings, and 2life Baby. The apps funnel daily customized content to their users, as well as provide a place for users to store and post their own content.
Most of the 50,000 users are now based in the U.S., as the company has transitioned from its Hudson’s Bay partnership to working with new partners like Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and JCPenney south of the border. And Hall said the company wants to make the blend of discovery and content into a more personalized experience, increase customization, and find more ways to leverage the 2life community.
“We have been on the vanguard of publishing because of the OMDC,” said Hall. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
A Volume One grant in 2004 gave them some validation when 2 for Couples first launched; subsequent Magazine Fund grants for both print and digital projects enabled them to increase the frequency of their digital issues and expand to new markets.
“The additional funding allowed us to take a bit more risk and take it further than we would have,” she concluded. “Funding from the OMDC allowed us to stay true to our vision and expertise.”
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