LADbible is often misunderstood by those who do not follow it (I should declare at this point, I work with them as a consultant, and that I’m a recent convert). The name “Lad” does little to help. Despite this, its founding principles, and the figures it now reaches, are worthy of respect.
Lad culture was at its height 15 years ago, with Nuts and Zoo defining an era of babes, booze and bants. It didn’t last too long, however, and these titles (and others) closed when men became disinterested –and the internet became a much bigger source of entertainment. But LADbible is different, and to compare it to the male magazine market is to do it a huge disservice.
Here are some of the facts:
•In July alone LADbible had 3.1 billion views across all of its platforms worldwide
•LADbible reaches half of all 16-24 men, and a quarter of young women in the UK
•One in ten of all Facebook users follow LADbible
•It is the third biggest video content provider globally, only behind Buzzfeed and Time Warner
•It is number one in Europe, and ahead of the BBC, Mail Online, Twitter and Sky domestically
In the right place at the right time, LADbible has been around for just five years, founded by two young men from Manchester. The advent of user generated content and the means to share it was established just as it was there to provide it. But these guys aren’t immature chancers. They are wise enough to understand the audience’s mindset, going so far as to hire 16-year-olds, and placing them at the heart of its editorial operation. Already following their advice, LADbible has decided not to take traditional advertising for short term gain, because it would interrupt the content and ruin the user’s enjoyment.
They are not looking to quickly cash in either; LADbible is aimed at building a robust UK-based global empire. That takes nerve, and the conviction to buck a trend. Investing in high quality infrastructure, from studios to experienced talent, unproven young people, and expanding well-equipped offices, they are making a conscious effort to invest in the future and a longer term vision for the group.
The brand is also seeking to expand beyond the mobile/tablet digital universe and spread its home grown content in to the wider media world. The light-hearted entertainment will sit alongside hard news and relevant causes. The LADbible is not perfect but is a game changer with a real shot.