Articles about "Magazines"


Digital editions up slightly at U.S. magazines

AAM

Digital edition circulation rose at U.S. magazines in the first half of 2014, according to the Alliance for Audited Media’s most recent report. But digital editions represented only 3.8 percent of total circulation, compared with 3.3 percent in June 2013. Paid subscriptions fell nearly 2 percent, AAM’s Neal Lulofs writes. Single copy sales fell about 12 percent.

AARP The Magazine and the AARP Bulletin were the top magazines in the U.S. Both saw circulation gains. Circulation at Game Informer Magazine, the fourth-biggest title, fell 9 percent, but was still relatively massive: 7,099,452. GameStop owns Game Informer and bundles subscriptions to it with the chain’s paid loyalty card, Michael Sebastian reported last year.

The Top 10 magazines (and their total paid, verified, analyzed and non-paid circulation):

  1. AARP The Magazine (22,837,736, up 4.1 percent)
  2. AARP Bulletin (22,183,316, up 2.2 percent)
  3. Better Homes and Gardens (7,639,661, up .2 percent)
  4. Game Informer Magazine (7,099,452, down 9.3 percent)
  5. Good Housekeeping (4,315,330, down 1.9 percent)
  6. Family Circle (4,015,728, flat)
  7. National Geographic (3,572,348, down 10.7 percent)
  8. People (3,510,533, down .9 percent)
  9. Reader’s Digest (3,393,573, down 35.3 percent)
  10. Woman’s Day (3,288,335, down 3.1 percent)

Some news magazine stats:

  • Time‘s circulation was down about half a percentage point, to 3,286,467.
  • Wired‘s circulation rose 6.8 percent, to 917,580.
  • The New Yorker‘s circulation was 1,049,430, down .6 percent.
  • The New Republic‘s circulation fell 11 percent to 41,429.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek‘s circulation fell half a point, to 992,582.
  • The Atlantic‘s circulation fell 1.5 percent, to 480,317.
  • The Week‘s circulation rose 3.2 percent, to 579,291.

The Top 10 digital replica magazines (and their digital replica circulation):

  1. Game Informer Magazine (2,894,248)
  2. Shape (296,157)
  3. Star Magazine (237,333)
  4. OK! Weekly (196,248)
  5. Working Mother (194,167)
  6. Maxim (186,863)
  7. National Geographic (164,408)
  8. Taste of Home (160,198)
  9. Men’s Fitness (156,600)
  10. Cosmopolitan (154,278)

Worth noting: The next nine magazines after Game Informer have a combined digital replica total of 1,746,252, about 60 percent of Game Informer’s digital circulation. Read more

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‘Remake, remodel:’ 3 ways the digital revolution has changed women’s magazines

Brooke Erin Duffy remembers her first meeting with Seventeen magazine. She was 12, at her grandparent’s house and totally entranced.

Duffy, an assistant professor in the School of Media and Communication at Temple University, writes about that introduction in her book “Remake Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age.”

Indeed, I recall a flurry of emotions as I read through that early ’90s issue of “Seventeen” again and again; with the benefit of hindsight, I can identify this as a powerful cocktail of envy and inadequacy, hope and aspiration. And so began my close, albeit conflicted, relationship with women’s magazines.

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Magazines, including a Rolling Stone issue featuring president-elect Barack Obama, are displayed at a newsstand Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Magazine industry ad decline slowing, but 4th quarter not good

The final tally came in this week for print magazine advertising in 2013. It is the typical good news/bad news scenario.

Ad pages — the industry’s traditional measure — were down 4.1 percent for the year. That could be read as a step forward from 2012 when the decline was 8.2 percent.

Quarterly year-to-year comparisons had improved through the year, with the third quarter off just 1.8 percent compared to a year earlier, the best performance in two years. But the fourth quarter headed back the wrong way, off 4.8 percent, indicating marketing budget cuts at year’s end and perhaps a below par holiday season.

The weak fourth quarter at magazines suggests that newspaper ad results for the period, which will be reported by public companies in February and for the industry in March will probably soften too.

We will return to the overall measures in a minute, but here is a tasty tidbit.  Can you guess which category of magazines did best, bucking the negative trend and finishing up 11.2 percent in pages for the year? (I couldn’t).

The winner, according to a compilation by Media Life Magazine was men’s titles. Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness were both up by more than a quarter for 2013. Details, Esquire and GQ, all had gains of 10 percent or better. Maxim (-16.8 percent)  and Playboy (-5.4 percent) were down, reflecting declining circulation as their genre of photo offerings are now readily available online, in varying degrees of raunch, for free.

Among the weakest performers were the three surviving newsweeklies — Time (-11.4 percent), The Economist (-16.1 percent), and The Week (-19.7 percent).

So among print magazine readers, at least, abs and prostates are hot, news not so much.

The Media Life list is detailed and can be scanned to see how your favorite titles or categories did last year.  Entertainment and celebrity magazines were strong; high-end general titles like The New Yorker, New York and The Atlantic were off.

A few notable growth categories of the last decade — like food and shelter — have now leveled off and saw a small decline in ad pages

Media Life is directed at media buyers. That group includes young professionals at ad agencies and specialized boutique firms. The buyers are notorious for moving as a herd, so being a hot title begets still more business and comparatively weak performers are scorned.

The Publishers Information Bureau, source of the statistics, also now provides an estimate of revenues. They were better than the ad page counts for almost every title and came out even or just up for the industry compared to 2012.

This measure also does not include digital advertising. That’s not an area of strength for magazines, which even more than newspapers continue to lose ad share to the digital giants and other digital-only offerings.

Tablet editions, though a small contributor to magazine finances as yet, continue to grow both audience and advertising. A separate study commissioned by the bureau’s parent association, MPA, found that the 69 magazines that measure iPad ad units increased the units by 16 percent in 2013.

The limitations of considering just ad pages as a measure of financial health disadvantage organizations furthest up the curve in digital transformation. For instance, The Atlantic’s traditional monthly print magazine was down in pages 16.8 percent for the year. But the company’s broader portfolio includes a hugely successful conference business and the strong launch of the digital-only Quartz business news site.

Especially if the tablet use is included, magazine audience is stable or up slightly for the year.  However, as numerous reports including Pew’s State of the News Media 2013 have noted, single copy sales, the highest margin circulation revenue, have crashed.

Travelers, especially those looking for something to watch or read on a plane, are increasingly choosing digital alternatives, rather than the old routine of buying a handful of magazines before they board.

Curiously, the print revenues of all magazines — $19.7 billion for the Publisher Information Bureau titles — is just ahead of those of daily newspapers. Those were $18.9 billion in 2012 but sure to decline more when 2013 full-year results are compiled. Read more

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For Modern Farmer, farm stands hold more promise than newsstands

When Modern Farmer launched its GoatCam in September, Editor-in-Chief Ann Marie Gardner was surprised to hear from people working at the Pentagon.

“They had a suggestion for changing the angle of the camera so they could see the goats better,” Gardner said in a phone interview.

Gardner (Photo by David Harriman)

Modern Farmer is proving adept at finding audiences in places one wouldn’t expect. Since launching this past April, its article on why cow-tipping is nearly impossible has become a viral hit, BuzzFeed’s Katie Notopoulos has written about how to behave at a farmers market and President Clinton has jawed about farming in its pages. (He remembers he once “badly lost a head-butting contest to a ram.”)

The Hudson, N.Y.-based publication offers a daily report online as well as a quarterly print magazine. Its target audience isn’t just urban weenies obsessing about kale, but people who are interested in the stories behind their food. Climate science, food policy and (oh yeah) actual agriculture are all coverage areas. Judging by the emails she’s received, Gardner said, farmers appreciate that the publication is “not insulting.”

“We’re credible with farmers because of the stories we’re telling,” she said. “And because we’re focused on solutions, which is something they appreciate.”

Rwanda’s agriculture minister Agnes Matilda Kalibata talked about the country’s agricultural renaissance in the Fall 2013 issue, while Jesse Hirsch reported on the difficulty of controlling wild pigs in the magazine’s premiere.

Gardner said Modern Farmer has 10 employees, five of whom have full-time editorial jobs. Its staff writers are expected to file three stories per day, which don’t necessarily land in the print edition: “It just feels like different things live differently in print,” Gardner said. “It feels internally very clear what the difference is.” A long investigative piece will probably hit the print edition first, for instance.

Gardner is also the company’s CEO, a new role for someone who’s been a journalist for most of her career, working for Monocle and The New York Times among other publications. As she planned Modern Farmer, she said, she decided that the website would be free, calling a paywall a “total turnoff … We think we can generate revenue from different sources.” Modern Farmer has an e-commerce site and Gardner said that “eventually we see ourselves doing events.”

(The Canadian tycoon Frank Giustra is Modern Farmer’s primary investor. He’s a partner of the Clintons in an anti-poverty initiative and helped arrange Modern Farmer’s interview with the former president.)

Modern Farmer does sell subscriptions to its print edition, which feels and looks terrific and shows ads for Bonterra organic wine alongside ones for Kioti tractors and Muck boots.

Single-copy sales, though, are more challenging: The number of newsstands continues to fall, and competition for space on the remaining shelves is fierce. Gardner is still thinking through that aspect of the business, musing that “there has to be a better way” to get magazines to readers. Modern Farmer could try to tap farmers markets as distribution points, or partner with community-supported agriculture outfits, she suggested.

“Think about who’s reading us — they’re eating organic vegetables and having them delivered to their house,” she said.

Gardner said while Modern Farmer was in the planning stages, people she spoke to at tractor shows saw her publication as being for the “lifestyle farmer, the hobby farmer — which definitely is part of the people we talk to.” But now that Modern Farmer is a reality, she added, “some bigger farmers are fascinated by the magazine, too.” She said her favorite reaction from readers is when they say, “I never knew farming was relevant to me.”

Correction: This post originally misspelled a writer’s first name: He is Jesse Hirsch, not Jessie.


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Playboy among most accurate magazines, Grammarly finds

The editing service Grammarly looked at articles in top men’s and women’s magazines, checking for “spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.” The most accurate men’s magazine it found was GQ. Ladies’ Home Journal was the most accurate women’s title. Playboy was No. 4 on Grammarly’s list of accurate men’s magazines, the same position held by Family Circle on its list of women’s mags.

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The New Yorker features two moms on its Mother’s Day cover

The New Yorker

The artist Chris Ware writes about his cover for the magazine’s May 13 issue, which shows two moms reading a card:

Few people today don’t know—or have in their families—at least one loving couple who are raising children, same-sex or not. And it’s really just the loving part that matters. That same-sex marriage could go from its preliminary draft of “diagnosable” to the final edit of “so what?” must indicate some positive evolution on the part of the larger human consciousness.

Perhaps coincidentally, May 6 marked the one-year anniversary of Vice President Biden saying he was “absolutely comfortable” with gay marriage, an event said to have pushed President Obama to express his own public support. Read more

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2013 National Magazine Awards widen scope, and women win

The Huffington Post | Jezebel | ASME

At the American Society of Magazine Editors awards Thursday night, Dahlia Lithwick won for commentary and Pamela Colloff won for feature writing. No women won either category last year because no women were nominated in them.

ASME Chief Executive Sid Holt told Poynter last year that criticism of the awards’ nominations, which failed to nominate women in the feature writing, reporting, profile writing, essays and criticism or columns and commentary categories, was “kind of silly.” And yet this year’s nominations were far more representative of the industry they survey.

It’s depressing that ‘women write good stuff’ is news, and it feels silly to congratulate ASME for doing its job,” Katie J.M. Baker wrote in Jezebel earlier this month, “but it’s a dramatic improvement, and we’re psyched.”

The awards’ categories still consider magazines aimed at men in “News, Sports and Entertainment Magazines,” while it considers magazines aimed at women in the “Service and Fashion Magazines” category. Read more

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Esquire editor says photos of women are like ‘pictures of cool cars’

The Guardian | New York

Alex Bilmes, who edits Esquire’s U.K. edition, claimed in a panel on feminism in London that his magazine was “more honest” in its portrayal of women than the rest of the industry. And by that he seemingly meant Esquire is upfront about its objectification of women.

From The Guardian:

“The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”  …

“[Esquire] provide pictures of girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars,” he said. “It is ornamental. Women’s magazines do the same thing.”

Bilmes later tweeted to ASOS women’s fashion and beauty editor Danielle Radojcin and singer Lily Allen that “actually I said ‘mental’ not ‘ornamental’ but was misquoted,” an apparent attempt at a joke, because Guardian video clearly shows otherwise. Read more

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Reports: Meredith in talks to buy most Time Warner magazines

Fortune | The New York Times

“A serious buyer is in talks with” Time Warner about buying most of its magazine properties, James Bandler, Doris Burke and Jennifer Reingold report in Fortune. The deal is in “a formative stage and may never come to fruition,” they write.

Meredith Corporation is the potential buyer, Amy Chozick reports in The New York Times.

The deal being discussed would allow Time Warner to hang onto three flagship magazines, Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, while selling the majority of its portfolio, including magazines like Real Simple, Entertainment Weekly, Cooking Light and InStyle. The titles, which amount to essentially a women’s magazine company, make a good fit for Meredith Corporation, based in Des Moines, Iowa, and the publisher of such titles as Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal.

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Huffington iPad mag stops charging, renewing concern about readers’ willingness to pay

Capital New York | GigaOM
The Huffington Post’s new weekly iPad magazine — originally priced at 99 cents / $1.99 a month / $19.99 a year — is dropping its price to zero after five issues, Joe Pompeo reports. AOL claims about 115,000 downloads of the app, Pompeo writes, but it wasn’t clear how many of those ever paid for an issue (the first month came free).

The moves comes shortly after The Daily, News Corp.’s iPad-only newsmagazine, laid off 50 staffers and scaled back content.

Mathew Ingram’s analysis is that single-source apps “don’t fit the way content works anymore”:

Whether media companies like it or not (and they mostly don’t), much of the news and other content we consume now comes via links shared through Twitter and Facebook and other networks, or through old-fashioned aggregators — such as Yahoo News or Google News — and newer ones like Flipboard and Zite and Prismatic that are tailored to mobile devices and a socially-driven news experience. Compared to that kind of model, a dedicated app from a magazine or a newspaper looks much less interesting, since by design it contains content from only a single outlet, and it usually doesn’t contain helpful things like links.

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