Reaching Young Readers
A new initiative by MPA gives free digital editions of magazines to college students hoping to convert them into magazine readers and to test the viability and popularity of digital delivery. Five publishers are participating in this initiative. Read more

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World's First Mag
The Gentleman's Magazine was the first general-interest magazine. It was founded in London by Edward Cave in January, 1731. The original complete title was The Gentleman's Magazine: or, Trader's monthly intelligencer. More>>

More Facts

Merrill Lynch report on the state of the newspaper industry does not see online representing over 50% of total newspaper ad revenues until more than 30 years from now.More>>

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    Why Magpie? Because I like observing these sleek birds with a tapering tail. And like Magpies, I live with the burden of being a 'chatter', even though I believe that I am rather shy, reserved and unobtrusive :).

    Monday, July 31, 2006

    Circulation: Issue-by-issue Measurement

    New Auditing tools promise more immediate information, more transparency, and more accountability

    It has long been known that different issues of a magazine generate different audience levels and can also attract different type of newsstand buyers. Issues with higher audience levels also tend to bring in readers who read the publication less frequently. A recently concluded study by McPheters & Company found that some magazines accumulate their audiences more rapidly. Weeklies, it was found, accumulate their full audience in the first four weeks after going on sale.

    Encouraged by its results, McPheters & Company has announced - a new print ratings service that does continuous measurement of publication audiences., has also partnered with online measurement company comScore Media Metrix to provide additional information about consumers who access publications online.

    And they are not alone.

    Last month Audit Bureau of Circulation launched its Rapid Report for consumer magazines. ABC Rapid Report allows publishers to voluntarily report their top-line circulation data on an issue-by-issue basis within weeks of the on-sale or non-paid distribution date. American Media Inc. and Meredith Publishing Group have already pledged that all of their ABC-audited titles will voluntarily participate in Rapid Report.

    Mediamark Research, too, has been testing a system that is supposed to discover how quickly consumers read individual editions of print magazines, by conducting weekly, web-based consumer surveys that will supplement its twice-yearly printed surveys that have long been the main currency of magazine advertising buys. This study will enable advertisers to better define variables that influence the performance of individual issues and determine the how efficiently and quickly certain issues reached their target audiences.

    According to Folio, BPA Worldwide is also working on a system that allows consumer magazine to report issue-by-issue circulation data - numbers of paid and/or non-paid qualified subscription copies and single ‘newsstand’ copies, the appropriate subtotals and the overall qualified paid/non-paid total.

    What this could mean:
    Tracking print audience levels and engagement on an issue by issue basis will make it easier for advertisers to understand how effective magazine advertising is. And that might change the way which advertising in magazines and newspapers is bought and sold. Another plus, media planners will now be working with data that is fresh and not two years old :)!

    Audit Trivia:
    I just did a search on ABC in India and I get linked to a site that has not been updated in years. According to information available there 61 Indian magazines were audited on/till May 2001.


    Friday, July 28, 2006

    Awards: Computerworld Best B2B Publication- ASBPE

    The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) has honoured Computerworld with its 2006 ASBPE Magazine of the Year. Computerworld received this honour for the second time in three years. also received the gold in the best "Overall Web Publication" category. The judges recognized Computerworld as "packed with so much useful information," and containing "relevant, useful graphics." There's "never a fluffy issue," they said, adding that what Computerworld does is "difficult for any monthly magazine, and they do it weekly."

    Awards Summary:
    80,000-and-over circulation:
    Magazine of the year: Computerworld
    Honorable mentions:
    CFO (The Economist Group publication for finance executives)
    CIO (IDG publication which targets information executives)
    Magazine of the year: CSO (IDG publication for security executives)
    Honorable mentions:
    Security (a TechTarget publication)
    Meetings & Conventions (from Northstar Travel Media)

    Magazine of the Year Criteria
    Azbees are given in 40 categories. This year Fifteen magazines won Golds in editorial categories; 23 in graphics, and six in digital.
    Up to six judges evaluated three consecutive issues of the magazine to gauge consistency in quality. Judges are "in the trenches" journalists and rate the magazines according to the following criteria:
    -- Writing, reporting and editing
    -- Usefulness to the reader
    -- Editorial organization
    -- Interaction with readers
    -- Layout and design

    IDG in India
    IDG India was recently in news when they launched PCWorld India (priced at 60) with the July 06 issue. CIO Magazine and OutsourcingWorld are other two publications brought out by them in India.


    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    Advertising: Superhuman Effort to Raise Awareness

    Finally magazine faithful have their own Superhero: Captain Read. "Complete with crimson tights, a black cape and a lightning-bolt 'M' for magazines on his chest..."
    Beginning the week of July 17, 2006, MPA (Magazine Publishers of America) and the Magazine Marketing Coalition embarked on a two-week guerilla promotion to raise awareness within the ad community of magazines’ strengths and contribution to media plans. The promotion involved a superhero named Captain Read who visited nine advertising agencies in New York City, bearing research materials that tout the super-power of magazines.
    Overall, Captain Read met with more than 750 planners, buyers and other agency professionals and disseminated 1,300 copies of each research material, counting leave-behinds.

    The entire hoopla with the people posing with Captain Read seems a wee-bit childish, but then a friend with agency experience, tells me that in India too, media planners often have whacko campaigns designed to get their attention.
    And I know of a technology magazine launch where a man in a Robot costume served chips and snacks to visitors. Thankfully, it was good eight years ago.

    While the MPA site shows happy pictures of people who posed with Captain Read, Simon Dumenco of Advertising Age does not take a kind view of the situtation in his article: You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! (Please Tell Me You Are)

    Happy Reading !


    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Article: More on Going Digital

    "The magazine - a few pieces of paper glued together - isn't going to be what you're doing in a few years time." ... reiterates futurologist Ian Pearson.

    He cited methods such as incorporating URLs into magazines that link direct to your TV screen and using EInk technologies (prototype large scale newspaper shown in the accompanying pic) by which readers can connect to personalised internet content directly from the magazine. These kinds of technology advances would mean magazine production becomes more of a two-way system, of personalised interaction between the reader and the magazine beyond the traditional means of communication, the letters page.
    "You can make a much clearer link between you and the customer because of the artificial intelligence which knows who I am, where I am and what information I need right now," he told the BBC Magazines conference and reported in the British media trade magazine, the Press Gazette.

    Pearson warned that reputation alone would not carry companies through to the technological revolution, but that the brand value combined with keeping pace with the digital advances would. He added that convergence would mean magazine publishers would face competition from non-traditional publishers, also selling content. "You'll be competing against everybody,"

    Adds Michael Harvey, editor of British TOP GEAR magazine: "Any society that's putting PCs at its centre is extremely relevant to a company that's just selling magazines — it's going to happen here because it's purely determined by the level of penetration and the speed of the broadband there."

    Article Source: Press Gazette Online
    Read full article" Futurologist: publishers must embrace digital age!


    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Editorial: Reversing the Flow

    There was a time when editors wouldn’t even post magazine content on the Web for fear that it would devalue the magazine...but not any more.

    Jason Snell, editorial director at 350,000-circ MacWorld, has reversed his editorial production priorities between the print magazine and its Web site--a process that caters to and acknowledges the audience’s need for timely information especially in the computer tech market, and the magazine’s ability to offer content at the reader’s own pace
    The majority of stories are now generated for the Web audience first and then further developed for the magazine. Stories incubate online and, sometimes with direct audience feedback, are expanded for the magazine. Judgments on what to cover are made based on the information needs of the Web audience. Consequently, deadlines originate with the Web site and are then backed out to accommodate the magazine. “Not that print doesn’t get those things in the end,” says Snell, “it’s just that print isn’t the thing that drives it.”

    Information Source:
    Read the full article here


    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Trends: 48% Cotton, 52% News

    Worried that your newspapers and magazines are not giving you all the news you ought to get? Perhaps it is time to subscribe to T-post.

    T-Post is a lot like having subscription to a magazine, only instead of receiving magazines in your mailbox, you receive Tshirts! Every six weeks staffers at Tpost take a news story that catches their attention and design a Tshirt based on the news. Each T-shirt is a new issue and is numbered like magazines.

    Themes vary from hard-hitting stories like Nepal striving for democracy (a sun peeking over the shoulder of a snow-covered mountain imprinted with the saying 'This is merely the beginning of the beginning', in Nepali) to more entertaining reports including a recently discovered breed of pigs that glow in the dark (a bright green tee adorned with a giant pig’s tail).

    Every delivery accompanies a small write up that describes the news behind your Tshirt. According their website "You may not always read about Tshirt story in your newspaper, but in our opinion you should have".

    The downside: Each Tshirt costs 26 euros and even if you don't like what you get, you cannot return it back.
    If you do like stories in a magazine you subscibe to, you cannot return it, can you?


    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Circulation: Magazine as a Supplement in Newspapers

    An interesting idea on yesterday's MediaDaily News from MediaPost:

    Publishing Group of America (PGA) which is planning to launch 'Texas Profile', a new regional title in September with roughly twice the circulation of its closest competitor, Texas Monthly. How has PGA managed to round up so many Texans?
    By inserting the magazine as a supplement in local newspapers. Texas Profile will be distributed in Texas newspapers with subscribers of 625,000 or more.
    While some in the industry bemoan the fate of consumer magazines in the face of Internet competition, Texas Profile aims to reach a market that is underserved by media

    Growing up I remember most of our magazines being delivered by our Newspaper vendor. My father would buy Seminar from the newsstand and 'Mainstream' was delivered by post.
    Are there any Indian magazines being delivered as free supplements in your newspaper?
    How are the circulation figures of such supplements calculated?
    Any answers...

    Read Mediapost story here


    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Design: Saras Salil Suprises Once Again

    I first heard about it as an answer to a tricky quiz question.

    When asked to name the highest selling magazine in India, most would reply ‘India Today’, ‘Outlook’ . Few who regularly browsed quiz books knew that the coveted place belonged to Saras Salil.

    Launched in 1993, by Delhi Press Patra Prakashan, this magazine which most of us who are more comfortable with English media have never seen, became the largest selling Indian magazine across languages when it unseated Malayalam Manorama from the No 1 position in 1998.

    According to Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures for July-December 2005, the circulation of Saras Salil (Hindi) stood at 10.90 lakh. According to IRS 2006 Phase 1, Saras Salil (Hindi) continues to lead the magazine segment garnering a total readership of 7,361,000 (source: Indian Media Observer Newsletter, Issue 25, May 2006). The survey also mentions that the readership has been stagnant.

    Probably that has inspired a third redesign in two-and-a-half years. In August 2005, it came up with a new logo while in January 2004 it decided to scrap the policy of only having female models on its cover. “Earlier the font was thick, now it is thinner. We have given more clear spacing and you'll see much more whiteness in the background, giving the magazine a polished look,” says Anant Nath, director of the magazine publishing company, Delhi Press Patra Prakashan in an interview with BrandReporter.

    Accompanying refreshing changes in content (more pages devoted to entertainment and fiction stories and increased the coverage of different states) and design is price hike. Readers now have to pay Rs 6 per copy instead of Rs 1.

    The company intends to spend over Rs 1.5 crore on promotional activities in the next three to four months for all its magazines. These include painting and poetry competitions for children, debates and discussions at the Saras Salil Manch on contemporary topics.


    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Editorial: Interview or an Ad?

    The line separating editorial content and advertising in magazines blurs even more in the latest issue of Premiere, the movie magazine.
    Premiere's July/August 2006 issue features a doublespread ad for "Little Miss Sunshine," a new film from Fox Searchlight Pictures. The right-hand page contains the usual elements of a print ad for film. Under a small "paid advertisement" disclaimer, the left-hand page carries an interview with Greg Kinnear, one of the film's stars, conducted by Howard Karren, who is identified in the ad as a "film journalist." But what makes this 'paid advertisement' controversial is the fact that the magazine's masthead identifies Mr. Karren as a "contributing editor."

    The same issue also has Steve Carrell, another one of the film's stars, on the cover and inside there is a review of the same film that runs under an image from the film almost identical to one that runs in the middle of Mr. Karren's interview.
    Comments, anyone?

    Information source:
    You can read the entire, unedited article here


    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Advertising: Philips Takes Single Sponsorship with Gourmet

    Philips Electronics Corporation is going the single-sponsorship route in a new project that builds on its advertising theme of "sense and simplicity."
    Philips is the only sponsor of a 98-page, booklet-like supplement to be distributed with the August issue of Gourmet magazine, a Conde Nast publication. It will come in a "poly bag," or plastic wrapper, making it what the magazine industry calls an outsert.
    The supplement is devoted to articles that are meant to "provoke you into thinking about the act of eating in a richer and more interesting way," Ruth Reichl, editor in chief, writes in a note to readers that opens the supplement.
    In April, Philips paid Time Inc. an estimated $5 million to sponsor a novel reordering of the insides of the issues of four magazines: Business 2.0, Fortune, People, and Time (see Media Ideas Archive). The sponsorship brought the TOC in each issue forward to the first pages inside the covers in order to convince consumers that Philips makes it easier for them to enjoy their favorite publication just as the products Philips sells make life easier.

    Read more in the article on
    Exhortation From Gourmet: Eat, Drink and Buy Appliances
    FREE resigteration required)


    Monday, July 03, 2006

    Trends: Travel features in PC MAGAZINE?

    Since January 2006, PC Magazine has been broadening its coverage to include travel features ...
    And why not? Car/bike magazines, photography magazines have been doing so for years....

    This month PCMAG 'Connected Traveler' travels to Dallas to check out top tech attractions, including Fair Park, home to nine museums and six performance facilities, such as The Science Place, which has an IMAX theater.
    Previous issues have visited Salt Lake City "You'll be hard-pressed to find a hotel in Salt Lake City that doesn't offer free Wi-Fi in the lobby", Houston "Check out the museum that's all about people 'checking out'.", New York City, Detroit, Boston, etc...

    Yet to see similar travel features in Indian computer magazines...