By: Samir Husni
It’s that time again; time formin’s 30 Hottest Magazine Launches of the Year and 2016 was a bona fide year for new magazines. Content was diverse and designs were divine and they just kept coming each and every month. Happily, new magazines have shown no signs of slowing down over the years, even with the naysayers predicting the death of print. Magazines were, are and will always be a reflector of our society and a concrete part of it forever. This is a fact I’ve said all along and will continue to say as long as there are human beings to hear it.
Since beginning this very daunting task of selecting the 30 Hottest Launches, many have asked what the qualifications for making Mr. Magazine’s list for the 30 Hottest Launches are. The first and foremost qualifying factor is this: It has to be a magazine. And if it’s not print, it’s not a magazine. Some might think that consideration is pretty obvious. I do. However, in this digital age, you might be surprised at what some consider a magazine.
The next qualifying factor is the time frame. The magazines chosen had to be published between the months of October 2015 and September 2016, and there were a total of 790 new magazines for that period that I received actual physical copies of, with 217 of those having regular frequency. The quality content and amazing designs were beyond the pale and selecting only 30 out of the 217 was almost impossible. Almost.
In reaching my decision on what makes a magazine “hot,” by far the number-one criteria point is the audience’s reaction to that magazine. How did the overall marketplace react and how did its intended audience respond to it? And, just as important, how did the industry behave toward it? These questions are the first thing I ask upon selection of the Hottest 30. Then, once I’ve answered those initial questions, I really get down to work. Remember my mantra: Audience First.
For example, major industry leaders launching new print magazines certainly is something that must be recognized because it speaks to the power of the medium. These people aren’t in the business of wasting dollars on something that has no value, especially when those new babies are some of the absolutely best of the best. This time around there were new offerings from publishing giants such as Condé Nast, Meredith and the southern-born Hoffman Media. For companies like these to create and launch new titles at this time signifies the good health and power of print.
Then there are the entrepreneurs, with the vision and determination to fill a void with their magazine—no matter the cost or the emotional toll it takes. They are no less amazing. Some of the best titles among my Top 30 come from relatively unknown publishers who are not without experience, just without the names that audiences know so well. Magazines such as Kazoo, Jarryand Pallet are prime examples.
So, the criteria for selection is based on factors that include creativity and audience reaction first and foremost, and then industry trends and, as always, those rogue wildcards out there that just won’t be denied and seem to make some of the best magazines around.
Also, something has to grab my attention to be selected as a hot new launch, based on the comparative analysis of all the other magazines that are out there. To me, every new magazine is a good magazine. Any new launch is a good launch. I’ve always said my connection to ink on paper is a mutual one, but one that chose me first, albeit willingly.
So without further ado; here are the 30 Hottest New Launches for 2016 in alphabetical order:
Bake From Scratch
Beekman 1802 Almanac
Interior Design Homes
Live With Heart and Soul
Living the Country Life
Southern Cast Iron
The Clever Root
Women’s Golf Journal
Author: Samir Husni