Monday, March 06, 2006

An embarrassment of riches

It's becoming quite hard to keep up with all of the new magazines being launched, either with ridiculously large or ridiculously small budgets.

In the former category come the Mail On Sunday's You, Emap's just-announced title for working mums and Inside Out, the next from News Magazines.

The logic behind making a magazine which is freely available with a Sunday newspaper into a purchased title is not entirely clear to me, especially as the mag will sell for £1 and the Mail on Sunday sells for £1.30. Does that mean the rest of the paper is only worth 30p? But as a reported £8m has gone into the project I suppose someone has done the sums (although this is not always the case, as many a case history can show). The features will be a bit longer and there will be a bit less advertising. Classic magazine theory suggests that magazines given away with newspapers do not enjoy the same strong relationship with readers that ordinary standalone titles do, so this will be an interesting test of both sides. (Story from here)

[This magazine is making waves already - take a look at this story from MediaWeek for paranoia. If Vogue really thinks that punters will get confused, what kind of opinion do they have of their readers?]

A mere £12m will go into Emap's venture into the working mum territory - just a thought, but isn't that where She "The Magazine For Women Who Juggle" used to be before its recent makeover? The advance rumour is that it will signal a slight shift away from the out-and-out real life/celeb paradigm which has been so successful in the last couple of years, with "weightier" stories – just a thought but isn't that where Marie-Claire used to be?

Next up from Rupert Murdoch's "small" operation (see Rupert Does Small) News Magazines will be a home interest title.
This only has £6m backing (more here) and will only give away 2million 28-page free taster copies before its proper launch on 16 March.

That makes £24m so far but not all magazines are launched in this way. The student market is littered with almost as many bleached bones as the town/city what's on sector. An accidental encounter with my "archive" turned up a gem from a MediaGuardian of who knows what date (actually, a whois search suggests late 97-early 98), concerning the then just launched Studentmagazine. Much was promised, yet www.studentmagazine.com and www.studentmagazine.co.uk though still listed as active return a big nothing now. This has not stopped a slew of actual and promised titles from ex-students all round the country. I fear that most of them have not read John Wharton's excellent Managing Magazine Publishing and are publishing for a condition (being a student) not a need (being something a student wants to know).

Another area which people keep trying to reach is the teen boy market. Monkeyslum is still there (monkeyslum.com if you dare look) and now the Institution of Electrical Engineers, of all organisations, has come up with another offering: second story in here or go straight to the horse's mouth at the IEE or Flipside itself.

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