Johnston launches online-led mag for Belfast covering 'trending news, viral content feeds and street life'

Johnston Press has launched its first digitally-led print title, Belfast Vibe, targeting 18- to 35-year-olds in the Northern Ireland capital.

The company announced that the website will be accompanied by a free weekly Time Out-style magazine from 9 April.

It will cover “trending news, viral content feeds, ‘street life’, and general lifestyle topics, as well as the latest celebrity and sports stories”.

A press release said: “The dynamic, fully-responsive site is designed specifically to suit the needs of today’s millennials, using social media to both amplify its own stories and create additional user generated content, enabling the brand to engage with its audience in a variety of ways.”

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield told Press Gazette that if the site is successful the company will roll out it out to other UK cities.

He said: “I would hope that if the Belfast Vibe works – i.e. this combination of a weekly A4 TimeOut for outside London, if you like, but with more of a news thread running through it – if that works, and we think it should, it’s a very attractive product both online and in print, then we’re going to role that out in more cities.”

In the Johnston Press release he is quoted as saying: “Johnston Press is dedicated to connecting communities, and we’ve carried out extensive market research on how millennials want local news and information to ensure that BELFASTVIBE fulfills on this.

“We now have a clear guide on the topics that millennials will respond to, and the best channels to communicate them, so it’s great to put this into practice in such an exciting city.” 

Warren Butcher, managing director of the site, said:“Belfast is a lively, bustling metropolis, rich in culture and energy, and we want BELFASTVIBE to reflect that, speaking to the city’s millennials about the things that are most important to them, inviting them to explore their interests and passions, and providing them with a unique insight into the city they live in.”

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