7 Questions for the Hottest Launches
Excerpted from Media Industry Newsletter
Challenges. Insights. Magic Wands. Pleasant Surprises.
More than 800 consumer magazines launched in the past year, and we've narrowed
down the top launches to 15. It was a challenge for us - min and Samir Husni - but
we're sure it was even more challenging for these magazines to get off the ground so
Yours truly, Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni, the chair of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi, asked 7 questions to some of the leading execs of the 15
Hottest Launches of the year. These magazines were
chosen by myself and min from among all of the titles launched between Oct. 2005 and Sept 2006.
Make sure you read the launch profiles in the November issue of min magazine, but for now read what these editors and publishers have to say about what the past year has been like with a fledgling publication.
Click on the image or title to read the questions and the answers.
Everyday With Rachel Ray
Every Day with Rachael Ray has achieved a circulation success story that is unlike any
magazine ever published. EDWRR is one of only a few magazines ever to go back to
press with its launch issue, and that robust pace has extended into our first Fas-Fax
release (June 30, 2006), reporting total circulation of 826,597 - 98% over rate base.
The Internet is one of our leading subscription sources.
Know your audience, focus on quality and do your best to ensure that there's actually a
need or desire for your product.
We have been amazed and thrilled to see how passionate readers have become about
Blueprint after only two issues. To witness three separate copies snatched up at the
newsstand in under 10 minutes. To eavesdrop on two 20-somethings raving about it on
the Metroliner to Boston. To be approached (well, more like accosted) by a fledgling
interior designer in Barneys who opened her handbag to show us her dog-eared copy.
(All true stories experienced by the editor-in-chief over Labor Day weekend.)
The most important hurdle we overcame was breaking the perceptions in the advertising
community that a family magazine had to be limited to parenting issues for new mothers,
and that sophisticated mothers were being served by existing lifestyle magazines.
Because it never existed before, some advertisers challenged the notion that a new
magazine could serve a much needed purpose for mothers wanting to be recognized as
persons with interests not only in their children but in style, design, travel, and home
décor that change significantly when children come along but that they maintain
Crazy for Sudoku
Being able to stand out from the competition in a very crowded field due to our superior
design, attractive graphics, and high production quality. With Sudoku titles flooding the
magazine racks, we've been able to generate strong sales by providing a large number
of high-quality puzzles at an affordable price.
Getting over 3,750 paid subscribers to receive the first issue without using direct mail
(and creating a mechanism -- the Choose GOOD Campaign -- that gets young people to
enthusiastically pay for a magazine subscription).
Our most delightful surprise has been consumer response to our direct marketing.
Direct to publisher sold circulation is tracking over twice the industry average. Hallmark
is a beloved brand with enormous consumer appeal and literally millions of brand
enthusiasts. Subscribers are signing up for Hallmark Magazine in significant numbers.
We have been immediately successful bringing premium, non-endemic brands in the
automotive and liquor categories to Men's Vogue, and our challenge is to continue to
communicate the viability of the Men's Vogue reader to other lifestyle brands.
The reaction to our September 2006 cover story on Roger Federer, by David Foster
Wallace. It was extraordinary, both for the speed of the response (David's story
immediately became the most e-mailed story on the New York Times website, and
remained so for a couple of days), and for the outpouring of enthusiasm for that kind of
ambitious, long-form narrative. The reception to that story told us a lot about our
readership and its appetites.
Relish is that special friend who makes eating, cooking and entertaining more fun. It's
the friend you call on when you are looking for a new recipe to try. A friend that always
has a timely tip, some good advice or a delicious piece of news. Relish is the friend that
inspires you to be a more adventurous cook, a more knowledgeable shopper and a
Shock -- a pop culture photonews magazine, website and mobile site -- has created a
new media category in the U.S.
ShopSmart is changing the way women shop by making them savvier consumers.
Readers get the unbiased advice they need so they can shop with confidence, whether
they're buying a new car, a pair of shoes, or a bottle of wine for dinner. ShopSmart tells
readers which products really live up to their claims-and which ones don't.
Success Magazine's single most important achievement has been our ability to re-define
and open a dialogue regarding the true meaning of success in America. In a post-9/11
world, the definition of success is far more than the fierce accumulation of wealth. It is
about the ability to pursue one's passions in an ethical and inspirational manner as well
as the quality of the relationships we have with family, friends and community - both
business and social. We believe that the fine line between how we work and how we
live in today's society make personal and business behaviors virtually inseparable.
The overwhelmingly positive response from our client, US Airways, advertisers across
the country, and particularly our 2+ million readers per month. We are amazed at the
steps readers take to communicate with us. They are reading US Airways Magazine in
an environment that limits their ability to communicate with us during their reading time.
Yet they consistently reach out to us by email and phone after they have departed the
aircraft with enthusiastic feedback on specific magazine content.
It's one thing to say your new magazine is going to have great writing. Who wouldn't say
that? But it's another to deliver. We went to novelists and essayists whose prose we
loved and asked them to tell us about their experiences as parents in a way that is
candid, funny, real, and smart. Sure enough, they're turning in some truly fresh writing.