There are guide sites aplenty for college guys or for men in their 20’s. But what happens when one-time keg guzzlers and adrenaline junkies hit an age when they want something more refined?
Veterans of the dude space think they have an answer. InsideHook is a daily guide site that offers activities befitting of discerning guys 35 and up — a personal sommelier, a weightless flight over New York City, a chance to eat a whole pig in a private eating club.
“There’s nothing out there for guys who are successful but have little time. No one is helping them to find the most interesting things,” said CEO Jonathan Keidan.
The format for InsideHook is straightforward — a daily, punchy email that offers a single tip about what to do in the city. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is.
InsideHook is co-founded by Andy Russell and is backed by his new fund, Trigger Media. Russell is also a partner at Pilot Group, whose portfolio included DailyCandy and still includes Thrillist, an email site that targets men in their 20’s.
“It’s the same as Thrillist but a different demographic. One email a day with editorial recommendations,” said executive editor and former Thrillist New York editor Steve Bryant.
The business plan is also familiar — a New York roll-out followed by a national edition and expansion to other cities over a two to three year period. Keidan says InsideHook will be monetized right away and that the company closed its first ad deal last week. He expects the venture to attract 150,000 subs within a year.
Based on the success of Thrillist, the new project would seem to be a slam-dunk, especially if an older, richer audience can command higher ad rates.
One wild card — and this is just speculation — is whether a decline in email use and the rise of mobile (where a successful ad format is still a puzzle) will pose a challenge to repeating the Thrillist formula.
Keidan is confident the formula is still viable. “Email is still the best best way to reach an audience and get readers to lean forward.”
(Note: This story has been updated to clarify Andy Russell’s role in the venture).