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Robb Report celebrates 40th anniversary, eyes global expansion

Celebrating 40 years young, this week marks an exciting time for Robb Report. Not only have they recently launched an international edition in the UK, according to SVP/publisher Matthew Carroll but they’re on track to launch two more in October in Germany and Australia.

Originally launched in 1976 with a focus on the latest things that were happening within the Rolls Royce world, the publication has since expanded across a luxury lifestyle pillar, according to Carroll. “(Robb Report) started talking about what was the creme de la creme of the automobile world, and I think it's stayed true to that vision,” he said. “We've taken a much broader look and have transitioned into a lifestyle product."

Robb Report 40th cover ()

It was fitting then, that Rolls Royce was a key partner in Robb Report’s 40th anniversary issue, out Tuesday on newsstands.

The October print issue of Robb Report was the largest in almost a decade. It is also a collectible edition, taking readers through the past and future of luxury, with features on luxury landmarks, the 40 most iconic luxury items and ideas of the 20th and 21st centuries. 

“It is a celebration,” Carroll explained. “It's an amazing conversation about what luxury has meant over the last four decades. Brett (Anderson) and the editorial team did an incredible job trying to distill down the amazing things that have happened over 40 years.”

Robb Report has changed quite a bit over the last four decades, Carroll said. 

“Any time you have a business that has great legacy, we were able to expand on that and it has served us very well. We have been very specific to the mission of helping people understand how to engage in luxury. It has been a great educational tool as far as understanding some of the latest and greatest, for example, complex things behind fine time pieces, a smart look under the hood of a car, or beautiful wine.”

Today, Robb Report is a leading voice in global luxury, with a multi-platform and global footprint encompassing 17 international editions.

“We've been focused on making sure our content lives in the places that our consumers are,” Carroll explained. “Part of that is being smart about some of our dot-com evolutions and our social footprint, but it really truly has been about creating smart content that can really live in different places.”

The publication has seen some incredible growth across print and digital platforms recently. The October edition of Robb Report magazine closed with 30 percent year-over-year growth. The October issue is also up 70 per cent in ad pages. Digitally, they’ve been able to make that transition from print-centric model to multi-platform. Carroll explained that Robb Report is producing more content than they’ve ever produced before, and packaging it for various platforms, which has served the publication well.

“We've seen tremendous growth digitally,” Carroll explained. “In the last 18 months, we've seen 6x of audience growth to our dot-com and a lot of that is based on producing content and being high-velocity publisher.” 

There is an appetite for it, he said. Luxury is borderless. As the publication built and created content, they also built up their audience. They’ve stayed true to their brand, and found ways to broadcast that message using multiple channels, he said. They use high-touch experiences - like custom events and opportunities - that allow partners and consumers to experience things.

Robb Report has seen great response and engagement in producing content across platforms. “We also see the value of having hyperlocal or relevant content country by country,” he said. “Those are the things global and digital footprints allow us to achieve.”

In April, Robb Report launched a UK edition, and will be launching editions in Australia and Germany in October, which rounds out their footprint to 17 international editions.

“We see this as an opportunity for us to not only create a global network, but also be smart in helping consumers understand how to find that luxury, or how live that life, in a way that is extremely relevant to them,” Carroll said. “We're continually looking for opportunities to have smart expansion throughout the world."

That said, Carroll revealed additional editions may be on the horizon for the company, saying, “We believe that luxury is global... It's definitely something we want to focus on in the future.”

For the next 40 years, the Robb Report’s mission is simple, Carroll said. “To continue to create wonderful, best-in-class content, to be thoughtful about opportunities and grow that conversation around the world. We want to use digital to be relevant and localised."

Robb Report is a member of FIPP.

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