5 Shiny New Print Magazines That Prove Paper's Still in Fashion

By: Ann Huyck

The smell of the paper, the stain of the ink: when’s the last time you leafed through a print magazine?

Yes, your tablet lets you take hundreds of novels on holiday, but just like vinyl, indie print mags continue to grace coffee tables all over the world.

The last decade has seen the rise of amazing titles like The GentlewomanLittle White Lies, and Elephant.

Monocle even carved a new niche, shaping what it means to be a multimedia behemoth today.

Print isn’t dead. Its fans are as passionate as ever, with exciting new publications launching every year.

So as we at The Memo wave farewell to Future Media month, let’s acknowledge the printed word lives on.

These 5 spangly new print magazines from the last year (ish) that prove print’s still in fashion…. 

LYRA, launched June 2016

Are you a feminist? Hell yeah you are. Then you’ll probably love LYRA, the quarterly print magazine that serves up “a bold feminine perspective on society, politics and the arts”.

Founder Georgina Gray shrugs off the idea that her magazine should be ‘just for women’. Instead it’s for anyone who enjoys wide-ranging engaging content.

Expect journalistic digging, thoughtful essays, and creative writing – and a stunning array of photography and illustration throughout.

5054, launched April 2017

Are you a car lover who thinks the ‘petrol head’ stereotype is getting a bit tired? Then 5054will feel like a breath of fresh air.

Reinventing what you’ve come to expect of the automotive magazine, this pops the hood on the industry and revels in oil-slick corners that have long been overlooked.

With beautiful illustrations of the world’s most important vehicles, and insightful content from the people who surround them, prepare to go on a journey.

Season, launched May 2016

Football and fashion are not mutually exclusive – 25% of fans attending the Premier League are women, after all.

Now Season is here for those who love beautiful design and the beautiful game.

Often exploring this intersection through a focus on female football fans, every story you read somehow seems more inspiring than the next.

“We are often overlooked or sexualised in the football landscape so I wanted to document and celebrate female fandom creatively,” editor Felicia Pennant said of the launch.

Sofa, launched July 2016

Curious about the future? Well – as well as reading The Memo – you should subscribe to Sofa.

A wry, witty exploration of cutting edge culture – this is for trend-followers who need to know their Gen Xs from their Gen Zs.

With a debut issue that featured a 16-year-old guest editor, no topic is too taboo, cool, stigmatised, or controversial for Sofa.

Embrace the digital world in a physical form.

Unbuilt Magazine, launched April 2016

We’re used to reading interviews with musicians in magazines. But what about a magazine published by them?

Unbuilt founder Tom Bejgrowicz has partnered up with D. Randall Blythe (vocalist of Lamb of God), Alex Skolnick (Testament guitarist) and singer Alissa White-Gluz to build his new lifestyle publication.

You can expect musical discussion – from heavy metal to broadway – but also articles on art, activism, travel, and food – as its editors draw on experiences from touring around the world.

The latest issues have been hand-signed by Mötley Crüe songwriter Nikki Sixx, and $1 from every sale is donated to charity.

Written By: Ann Huyck

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Most Publishers Are Lousy at Audience Development. Here's Why.

By: Eric Shanfelt

publishers lousy audience development

As media companies, we pride ourselves on building long-term content relationships with our readers. Our audiences are the lifeblood of our businesses driving advertising, subscription, event, lead generation, and other revenues.

But despite our reliance on our audiences, we often struggle at developing them. It seems increasingly difficult for us to get more email subscribers, build print and digital subscriptions, drive event registration, and create more leads for advertisers.

Why? Because most media companies are actually lousy at audience development.

Our first mistake is that we don’t realize that the number one job of our website is audience development, not content delivery or monetization. Think about it … an average visit is only 2-3 pageviews. That doesn’t equate to much revenue.

If somehow, someone finds our website through a search, social share, or link, doesn’t it make sense that our number one priority — before monetization — should be to entice them to give us their email address? Now we have an actual relationship that we can use over and over again to drive repeat traffic as well as reader and advertiser-side revenue.

Our second mistake is forgetting that every page on our website has a flow:

  • First the reader orients themselves. Where am I? What am I looking at? Is it relevant?
  • Next the reader consumes the content be it text, photo, video, or otherwise.
  • Finally, the reader looks for what to do next … a call-to-action.

It’s the call-to-action where we as publishers often fall short. We give the reader some content and try to monetize that page view, but we often aren’t effective at then guiding the reader to the ONE thing that we want them to do next.

Step back and look at the pages on your site with fresh eyes. Ask yourself … does this page clearly move someone to take the next step with me (register, subscribe, download, purchase, etc.)? Each and every page should have a crystal clear call-to-action.

Finally, media companies must clearly realize that our sites have three very distinct types of content. Each type has a specific purpose and is designed to purposefully guide someone into a deeper relationship with our brand.

Open Content – This is content that anyone can see without registering or paying. The primary job of open content is to attract the right audience through SEO, social sharing, and links. Open content should always have a clear call-to-action to get an anonymous visitor to register. The lowest priority of open content is actual monetization.

Lead Magnets – A lead magnet is content specifically designed to entice people into registering and giving you their email address. Lead magnets are the secret to effectively turning anonymous web traffic into email names … and it’s your email database that drives revenue.

Paid Content – This is valuable content, data, or tools that people will pay for. This type of content is critical to media properties with paid subscription, digital memberships, or reports.

This kind of purposeful audience development is very familiar to direct marketers. But as media companies, we’ve often relegated audience development to an afterthought compared to content and monetization. That needs to change for media companies to thrive going forward.

Author: Eric Shanfelt

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Teens and Tweens are a Print-Hungry Audience

By: Caysey Welton

Bauer Media Group has made no secrets about its love of print magazines. Evidence of that is its continued commitment to the newsstand and its aggressive strategy to keep launching new magazines. Over the past few years the company has been more than bullish about introducing new titles, which has worked out pretty well for them. Brands like Closer and Simple Grace, for example, have thrived on newsstands and gained recognition among industry pundits. But last year the company targeted an audience that some might think wouldn’t be all that interested in an old-school medium like print—female teens and tweens.

Last year, Bauer Media Group launched five newsstand titles specifically for that audience, and added to a portfolio that already included four magazines for that segment of readers. So what is the company going to do for an encore? Well, we caught up with editorial director, Brittany Galla, to find out and learn more about the audience she serves.

min: Tell us about some of your big wins over the past year and how you’re building on that momentum in 2017.

Brittany Galla: Without a doubt, 2016 was a big year for us! In one year, our team launched five new magazines: Puzzle Fun, J-14 Decorate, Star-tastic Coloring Book, Girls’ World’s Bake It Up and Dot Dot Dot (on top of working on our four other publications, J-14, QuizFest, Girls’ World and Animal Tales). 

J-14 Decorate was even selected as one of the 30 Hottest Launches by Samir Husni, which was a big win for us— and a welcomed surprise!

Launching so many magazines successfully in 2016 gives me confidence that we can do the same in 2017 and still succeed in the market.

min: What are the unique challenges do you face reaching your audience in a progressively more digital age?

Galla: There’s no doubt that our older tween and teen audience are plugged in on their phones. They get their news on and follow all their favorite stars on social media—they are the most clued in audience we’ve ever had. It’s impressive, but I find the digital age to be incredibly helpful to me—and the team—to connect with our audience in ways we were never able to before. In a matter of seconds, I can get instant poll results on a poster, see what my readers are wearing to school that day (thanks to Instagram), see who they’re tweeting about and growing more interested in, and all in all, have this vital pipeline into what they’re thinking and doing at any moment. I love corresponding with our readers on social media and email—it’s a sense of a community. 

So I don’t see this digital age as only a challenge; I see it as an opportunity to use different outlets to really connect with my readers, who always are at the forefront of my mind. 

min: How have your readers changed in recent years? 

Galla: I touched on this earlier, but we are definitely seeing our audience be completely in-the-know when it comes to celebrities. Thanks to social media, they’re able to see celebrity photos and entertainment news a lot faster than it was 10 or even five years ago. For this reason, we have to be really on the pulse with what we do, coming up with new and creative ways to present celebrity news in an entertainment-centered title like J-14.

And I think for Girls’ World, we’re seeing a lot of readers who are passionate about the world around them and what they can do to make it a better place. Whether it’s the current political atmosphere or just a feeling of girl power in general, our readers are really responding to empowering and meaningful content—and that’s really inspiring to see.

min: Conversely, what has remained a constant?

Galla: Teen and tween girls have always been savvy. They don’t like to be tricked and they’ll turn away from a magazine that tries to  talk down to them. That’s why I’ve always seen a magazine like J-14 as the cool, big sister to readers—not the annoying know-it-all sister. 

I also think our readers’ optimism has remained a constant. They pay attention to the news and they realize we’re living in a particularly volatile time, but they look to our magazine to be an escape, and we’re proud to provide that. It’s even an escape from the drama in their personal lives.

Bullies might be in their school hallway and on their Snapchat account, but the bully doesn’t follow them when they sit down to read our magazines. So I think they still look for that loyal escape, that friend, and I’m happy we can be that for them.

min: Young people have so many distractions in their lives now, and several ways to consume media, how does print fit into that equation? Is your audience as passionate about ink and paper as they are digital mediums?

Galla: Social media is great, but you can’t print out a poster of your favorite celebrity or TV show/movie from your phone that’s going to be good quality. Even with a computer and printer it’s still going to be smaller paper size and not great. With our magazines, posters are a huge sell for us that our audience is still very passionate about. They love tearing them out and putting them on their walls or lockers. We get tons of photos of girls whose rooms are decked out with our posters.

Besides posters, we worked really hard on our magazines to give readers content that is unique to paper and not something they can get online as quickly. 

So for example, in J-14 Decorate, you’ll see pages like beautiful gallery wall images that they can assemble into a gorgeous gallery wall for their rooms with our directions, and grid sheets where they can actually “play designer” and fit furniture different ways in a room. And in Bake It Up, you’ll find cut-out recipe cards, helpful conversion charts for the kitchen and even placemats for them to use.

min: What has you excited about magazine media in 2017? And more specifically, the brands you oversee?

Galla: Creativity! Magazine publishers are truly thinking outside of the box for 2017, and that’s exciting to see. We’re seeing new avenues to reach our audiences, as well as connect with audiences we haven’t reached before. Specifically for the brands I oversee, I’m excited to continue our growth and reach even more readers this year.

Author: Caysey Welton

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