Part 2: Ten Days Around the Magazine World: In Paris C’est dit! Vivre magazinesDecember 23, 2009
And for those of you who speak French as bad as I do, the above title means “In Paris It Is Said Magazines are Living…” Growing up in Lebanon it is assumed by many who meet me that I should be able to converse in French, but alas, I was one of the few who went to an American school in Tripoli, Lebanon and thus my French is 100% dependent on my wife’s knowledge of that language (She went to a French speaking school). So, to give credit where credit is due, the help with the translations of the names of the magazines come from my wife.
Day Three: Paris
Well, back to my travels and the story at hand. C’est dit! and Vivre Paris are the names of two of six new magazines that welcomed me at the Charles De Gaulle’s Airport upon arriving in Paris on my third day of the Ten-day-around-the-magazine-world trip. The newsstands were crowded, and I mean crowded with magazines lining the shelves in every square centimeter of the store.
Pocket size vs. Standard size
The first thing that attracted my attention was the availability of some magazines in more than one format. I have heard and seen the practice of the so called pocket size publication sprouting all over Europe since the launch of the pocket size Glamour magazine in the United Kingdom. All across the continent magazines are now testing the pocket size along with the standard size. Some selling for the same price while others discounting the smaller size. The key problem is of course for the retailers who are not willing to give the magazine double display due to the crowded shelves. One solution I saw in Amsterdam is the placement of the pocket sized magazine in front of the standard size, thus sharing the same space, and probably cutting the draw of the standard size magazine.
The Gala example
The one magazine that grabbed my attention was the German import Gala. The French Gala came in three different editions: the standard magazine with a 2.20 euros cover price, the pocket size magazine with a 1.80 euros cover price (which by the way is nothing but a proportional reduction of the standard size making everything smaller including the type, unlike the specifically pocket-size designed British Glamour), and a standard sized magazine with a cover mount of four Christmas cards and envelop designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gucci, Sonia Rykeil and Christian Lacroix. The magazine and the cards costs 4.95 euros. Well, I bought all three identical magazines all sporting the new Miss France on the cover Malika Ménard. It is amazing that with the increase of the number of new magazines arriving on the market place, that some magazines want to create clones and then demand double the space on the retail floor for the same magazine. Will it work, and at what cost, is going to be the six million dollar (or euro) question.
The New Launches
My visit to the newsstands was really fruitful. I ended up with six new magazines ranging for those aimed at teens to the extremely well done Paris Living magazine. My first new magazine was TCHiK. A pocket sized publication that reminded me so much of Life & Style Weekly magazine combining celebrities, fashion and beauty. The name of the magazine seems to be a play on the word Chic, with a heavy TCHik French accent.
One of the biggest surprises that caught my attention was the second new magazine: Teen People. Yes, you read that right. A new magazine with an English name (remember Teen People magazine here in the United States) that deals exactly with what the now defunct American magazine: celebrities and more celebrities aimed at teenagers. The third new magazine called Séries fan capitalizes on the Twilight’s celebrities fame and names. In addition, it comes with 2010 Twilight “calendrier.” The amazing thing about all the aforementioned three magazines is the fact that they are all aimed to a group of people who the prophets of doom and gloom want us to believe they don’t read: teenagers.
Moving up a notch, is the fourth new magazine I found: F! mag. The magazine’s tag line is “News from a Woman’s Perspective.” F! mag is a bimonthly magazine with a weekly look. And as with any French women’s magazine, you can’t escape the mandatory Carla Bruni, the First Lady of France, article adorning the pages of the magazine. New magazine number five is C’est dit! magazine. The tag line of the “It is Said” magazine is “The True Life of Women.” The magazine has a very striking resemble to a lot of the British supermarket women’s weeklies magazines. Keeping the best for last is the sixth new magazine that I gained on my trip to Paris: Vivre Paris. A coffee table magazine with a hefty guide to the city of Paris that promises to show you Paris as you’ve never “read it.” From street art to bars, the magazine provides the reader with a new look and perspective to the “city of lights.”
Well, my plane is getting ready to leave to my next stop: Beirut, Lebanon. I am happy with my loot from Paris, but I am happier that in few more hours the plane is going to lend in my birth country Lebanon. But, that will be the next segment of my ten-day-trip-around-the-magazine-world. Stay tuned.
To read the first report about this magazine journey click here.