Archive for the ‘New Launches’ Category


Magazines Always Deliver… Whether Numbers Are Up Or Down – Magazines Never Disappoint

June 12, 2017

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing Comparing The First Five Months Of 2017 To 2016

As I surveyed the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor for the first five months of 2017, I couldn’t ignore that the musing I am about to write comes to you with a slight bittersweet positivity. An odd description, you might think, but the reason for the oxymoronic tinge of phrasing is because, unfortunately, as happens occasionally, the numbers being compared for the first five months of 2017 show a slight downward trend, in both frequency and specials. However, on the flip side, that positive flow that always propels ink on paper is still supremely prevalent. No matter the “numbers,” magazines always deliver the goods. Always. Just as Mr. Magazine™ himself feels the random slowdown, so does the stream of magazines rolling off the presses. It doesn’t mean that I or they are down for the count, it merely signifies an “off” day, so to speak.

From January through May, 2017, the numbers are as follows:

• Total Frequency Titles – 47
• Total Special Titles (including bookazines & annuals) – 205

From January through May, 2016, the numbers are as follows:

• Total Frequency Titles – 86
• Total Special Titles (including bookazines & annuals) – 252

As I’m sure you can do the math yourself, I won’t waste your time showing you the actual numerical difference. Suffice it to say, major publishers and companies haven’t let the thought of a “slowdown” curtail them in the least. This year alone, we’ve seen past magazines reborn, leading companies creating new ones, and entrepreneurs stepping out onto that visionary limb to go for their dreams. From the rebirths of Paste, Brio, and Zink magazine to the premiere issue of Airbnb Mag, the successful company’s new travel magazine published with partnership with Hearst Magazines, to the February, 2017 magazine launch, Rova (about millennials who love to roam the open roads in their RV’s) that any entrepreneur would be proud to call their offspring, new launches are still being catapulted into that stratosphere called the magazine market. Slowdown means nothing to the medium that knew what it was like to stand against the forces of darkness a few years ago, namely the naysayers who were determined that the last nail in the magazine coffin belonged to them.

Of course the launch of The Pioneer Woman (this month, and also published in partnership with Hearst Magazines) is not included in this musing, neither the one million new circulation numbers for The Magnolia Journal (published in partnership with Meredith)… just keep in mind we are comparing the first five months of 2017 to that of 2016.

But have no fear magazine lovers everywhere: the printed word is going nowhere. Except maybe onto the page of the next new magazine launch, which I’m sure will be out any day now.

Until we meet at the newsstands…

The chart below compares the first five months of 2017 to that of 2016 and is followed by the month to month breakdown of the numbers:

• January 2017:

• Frequency – 5
• Specials – 32

• January 2016:

• Frequency – 21
• Specials – 56

• February 2017:

• Frequency – 4
• Specials – 33

• February 2016:

• Frequency – 12
• Specials – 57

• March 2017:

• Frequency – 6
• Specials – 62

• March 2016:

• Frequency – 7
• Specials – 46

• April 2017:

• Frequency – 12
• Specials – 30

• April 2016:

• Frequency – 21
• Specials – 50

• May 2017:

• Frequency – 20
• Specials – 48

• May 2016:

• Frequency – 25
• Specials – 43


The Story Of HOLA! Made In The U.S.A.: The Final ACT 7 Experience

June 7, 2017

The final ACT 7 Experience was reserved for Sylvia Banderas, Publisher/VP Integrated Sales, HOLA! newly launched Spanish magazine in the United States. Ms. Banderas presented the story of the launch and the need for such a publication in the U.S. market… Click below to watch the video.


Here’s What It Takes To Launch A Magazine: A Panel Discussion. ACT 7 Experience, Day 3, Part 3.

May 11, 2017

The afternoon of day 3 of the Magazine Innovation Center’s ACT 7 Experience opened with Josh Ellis, Editor in Chief, Success Magazine leading a panel discussion on what it takes to launch a magazine. The panel included the following industry leaders from editorial, sales & marketing, advertising, design and distribution areas:
Joe Berger, Publishers Marketing & Sales Consultant, Joseph Berger Assoc.
Nicole Bowman, Founder & Principal, Bowman Circulation Marketing
Marshal McKinney, Design Director, Garden & Gun
Jennifer Reeder, VP, Sales, Democrat Printing
Steve Viksjo, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Jarry magazine, and
Bryan Welch, Founder, B the Change Media.

Check the video below and stay tuned for more videos to come…


Launching a Magazine: What To Bring To The Table…Linda Ruth Reporting From The ACT 7 Experience…

May 8, 2017

(Left to right) Marshall McKinney, Design Director, Garden & Gun magazine, Bryan Welch, founder and CEO, B the Change Media, Jennifer Reeder, VP of Sales at Democrat Printing, Joe Berger, Publishers Marketing & Sales Consultant at Joseph Berger Associates, Nicole Bowman, Founder & Principal at Bowman Circulation Marketing, Steve Viksjo, Co-founder and Creative Director at Jarry magazine, and Josh Ellis, editor in chief, Success magazine.

“Demographics are evil,” said Bryan Welch, the founder of B the Change Media, speaking before an enrapt audience at the Magazine Innovation Center’s Act 7 in Mississippi last week. Welch was part of a panel that included industry luminaries Joe Berger, Publishers Marketing & Sales Consultant at Joseph Berger Associates, Nicole Bowman, Founder & Principal at Bowman Circulation Marketing, Marshall McKinney, Design Director, Garden & Gun magazine, Jennifer Reeder, VP of Sales at Democrat Printing, and Steve Viksjo, Co-founder and Creative Director at Jarry magazine.

“If you go into the magazine business with a specific age range in mind,” Welch continued, “you are excluding people who might share the passions of your audience. Demographics are, in a sense, used to create tribes of your audience: this group is liberal democrat, that group conservative republican, and so on. When we set out to de-tribalize the content of our magazine we stumbled across a huge audience that we didn’t aim for, we didn’t know about, and we would have excluded if we had been limited to a demographic profile.”

The panel was moderated by Josh Ellis, editor in chief of Success magazine, and focused on magazine launches, and opinions were shared on what it takes to launch a magazine. You need to start with a product champion, Reeder said: “Someone with the dream.”

Berger agrees with the need for vision, but wants it rooted in practicality: “You have to be brave, a little crazy…and you have to do your homework.” For him, homework includes understanding the business and managing your expectations. “I can arrange for where your magazine is going to want to go. But once it’s on the stands, it’s the publisher’s job to make people want pick it up. We can help by showing how it’s done. Beyond that, it’s important to be realistic about what can happen. When it comes to newsstand, all of the challenges are the results of consolidation. We might not like it, but we can’t change it. It’s what happens in economics, it’s what happens in capitalism. We can rail about what happened in 2003, but we’re in 2017. So let’s forget about what went before and ask: how can we sell your issue? We have the same number of magazines, but less space. How do we let the audience know that the magazine is there and they can get it?”

“Passion is the raw material of the business we’re in,” Welch said. “For me , that’s the invigorating thing about it. It’s also the terrifying thing. If you put together a team of passionate idealists who believe in your vision, and what you are doing fails, the people you are with go down with you. That’s a lot of responsibility.”

“Your responsibility is to your audience as well as your team,” McKinney added. “You want to serve your core reader at all costs. You’ve built trust with that reader—never, ever violate that trust. Give them a healthy dose of what they’ve learned to expect, and surprise them when you can. You can do a lot of counter-intuitive things. You can make a cover that won’t sell on the newsstand, for example, if it builds your mythology and continues to build your brand. But the thing you can never do is betray your reader.”

And how does print fit into this apparently digital age?

“I can’t name a digital product that has lived on its own,” Welch said. “If you don’t have events or a print publication or both, you have no way of monetizing what you are doing.” That does not mean ignoring the opportunities offered online. “You meet the people online. You monetize them through print and events.”

“Use your social media presence to announce the launch through the influencers,” said Viksjo.

In this group, tilted to entrepreneurs, some of the points made at John French’s “How to Save a Magazine” presentation on the previous day were not entirely embraced. As Welch put it, “I am outraged at the idea that you want to launch your magazine for the investor. You need to launch it for the reader! You cannot serve two masters.”

McKinney agreed. “It’s like kicking your reader in the crotch, when you come in and dismantle the editorial. It might work on some level, but it isn’t keeping the audience in mind.”

“A business on the verge of bankruptcy is in a place where some crotches need to be kicked,” Welch reflected. “But not the reader’s. Never the reader’s.” And who is the reader? Someone who shares in the passion of the magazine. “Twenty years ago I took a sacred vow never to use the word ‘rate base’ in a professional setting. It’s the dumbest idea. Managing to a circulation level ignores the value you get from each member of the audience.”

“You need to be clear on who your readers are,” Bowman added. “If you are not clear on who you are trying to serve, you are not going to be able to find your audience.”

“I’ve worked for a magazine that got started with $7000 and a box of cards,” McKinney said. “And another with $12 million in its launch budget that almost had to shut down. It’s a wild ride.”

“And God help you if your project is good enough to attract venture capital,” Welch said. “The relationship with the VC is a path to their control.”

To make an impression, McKinney advised, “Print on great paper. Don’t skimp. Some of the most coveted real estate in the world is the American coffee table. That’s where you want to be.

“Our physicality is what distinguishes us,” Welch said. “It’s what allows us to monetize our stories in a way we cannot do without that physicality. How much leverage could I get by upgrading that physical experience? We can measure the impact on the newsstand. And what is the advertisers real response? There might be a lot of value there.”

“People want to own things,” Berger said. “We’ve got the web, the video, all this other stuff which is interesting, but they don’t own it. A magazine, they can own.”

And what words of wisdom can this group leave with us? “Your readers are the center of your business,” said McKinney. “Hold them captive in your mind. Build from there.”

And Welch finished with: “Be emphatically who you are. Think of the most outrageous thing you want to say and say it with the first issue. Set a marker out there. Don’t bother testing sell lines that don’t get you excited. Make aggressive statements about your entity. And be faithful to your audience, so that they know who is showing up.”


Tony Silber, Vice President, Folio, Leads A Panel On “Tales Of A Magazine Launch” At The ACT 7 Experience…Linda Ruth Reporting…

May 5, 2017

On the eve of the last day of ACT 7, Tony Silber, vice president of Folio, entertained us as a drummer in the ACT 7 band at Ground Zero Blues Club in the Mississippi Delta town of Clarksdale. The next day, that same Silber was leading a panel of publishers who told us their stories of recent magazine launches.

The range of successful launches represented on stage was enormous. It included Jarry, focusing on cooking and lifestyle for gay men; ROVA, a new print magazine for millennials who love to hit the open road in their RV’s; Take, which tells stories about the artists of New England; Good Grit, a social culture magazine for the South; Good Day, which will introduce the Grange and its mission to an audience beyond its current membership; Art+Design, which is bringing the New Orleans culture to 17 countries worldwide; Via Corsa, offering post-purchase adventure for automobile enthusiasts; and HGTV, a home lifestyle publication inspired by the title brand.

Addressing the topic of the balance between passion and business, publishers weighed in with their experiences of translating their passion into revenue. “If I did it as a performance art piece, I would lie in a fetal position and cry for an hour,” Michael Kusik, publisher of Take magazine volunteered. “But I saw Take as an opportunity to address an audience that is being missed. There are vast numbers of experiences people can have if they get in the car and drive.”

“I think you literally have to have a streak of insanity to start a magazine—I feel that every day,” added Laura Bento, founder and editor of Good Grit. “The reality of being an entrepreneur is that you are one step away from being homeless all the time. ‘So kids, you can sleep in a closet for a while, it’ll be fine.’” Her advice for publishers looking for financing: “Ask for three times more money than you think you need. Or four times. Or ten times…you are going to need way more money than you think you will.”

“The definition of passion is the willingness to suffer for what you love,” said Steve Martin, founder and publisher, Art+Design magazine. “I think every publisher can relate to that. We suffer every day for what we love. At Art+Design, we take everything the magazine has made and put it back into the magazine. In so doing, we’ve grown it from 80 pages to 154 pages, with a circulation of 10,000 per issue.”

“We’ve historically had many millions of members, but for the Grange, as for all similar organizations, there’s been a big drop off in membership,” Amanda Brozana, editor, Good Day! magazine added. “But you don’t need to be agriculturally driven to be part of it. We need to communicate this message—so Good Day! is a necessity. The passion part is needing to tell our stories.”

“At Via Corsa, we go around the world and look for car things to do,” said Ron Adams, founder & publisher, Via Corsa magazine. “It often turns into family adventures, which is a passion in our lives. We’re committed to doing what it takes to bring cool automotive adventures to print. Paradoxically, we are beginning, out of necessity, to move away from that passion to take care of the business side.”

“HGTV Magazine is very much a business,” Dan Fuchs, vice president/chief revenue officer, HGTV Magazine, said, to laughter from the audience. “I’m passionate about the business, but there are levels of responsibility with deadlines, economics, company accountability. From issue one, you need to stick to your positioning. If you waver, your readers and advertisers will check out. There is a commitment to following through on your positioning.”


Magazines And Music: Long Live Vinyl And Ink On Paper…

February 15, 2017

Mr. Magazine™ Video Minute…

When you’re the founder & editor at large of a new magazine called “Long Live Vinyl,” which is the actual size of a record album, and you’re immersed in two of your life’s biggest passions, music and magazines, when Mr. Magazine™ asks you the question: what are the differences and the similarities between those two passions, and your name is Ian Peel, this is what you answer:

Stay tuned for the full interview tomorrow on the Mr. Magazine™ blog…


Mr. Magazine™ Counts At Least 845 New Titles Appearing In 2016, With 222 Magazines Published With Regular Frequency

January 3, 2017


2016 continued the healthy growth of new magazines reaching the marketplace, both in frequency titles and specials, annuals and bookazines. The year ended strong, with at least 845 new titles, which is 31 titles more than 2015.

The total number of new magazines with regular frequency was 222, a decrease of 14 titles, compared to 2015. What follows is a month by month preliminary numbers of new magazine launches in 2016 compared to 2015.

January 2016:
Frequency – 21
Specials – 56
Total – 77

January 2015:
Frequency – 14
Specials – 43
Total – 57

February 2016:
Frequency – 12
Specials – 57
Total – 69

February 2015:
Frequency – 16
Specials – 49
Total – 65

March 2016:
Frequency – 7
Specials – 46
Total – 53

March 2015:
Frequency – 15
Specials – 54
Total – 69

April 2016:
Frequency – 21
Specials – 50
Total – 71

April 2015:
Frequency – 20
Specials – 50
Total – 70

May 2016:
Frequency – 25
Specials – 43
Total – 68

May 2015:
Frequency – 28
Specials – 53
Total – 81

June 2016:
Frequency – 13
Specials – 45
Total – 58

June 2015:
Frequency – 25
Specials – 45
Total – 70

July 2016:
Frequency – 10
Specials – 50
Total – 60

July 2015:
Frequency – 11
Specials – 70
Total – 81

August 2016:
Frequency – 19
Specials – 47
Total – 66

August 2015:
Frequency – 20
Specials – 39
Total – 59

September 2016:
Frequency – 13
Specials – 46
Total – 59

September 2015:
Frequency – 11
Specials – 42
Total – 53

October 2016:
Frequency – 32
Specials – 91
Total – 123

October 2015:
Frequency – 21
Specials – 41
Total – 62

November 2016:
Frequency – 26
Specials – 49
Total – 75

November 2015:
Frequency – 23
Specials – 56
Total – 79

December 2016:
Frequency – 23
Specials – 43
Total – 66

December 2015:
Frequency – 32
Specials – 36
Total – 68

2016 Totals:
Frequency: 222
Specials: 623

2016 Total: 845

2015 Totals:
Frequency: 236
Specials: 578

2015 Total: 814

To see the images of each new magazine cover, visit the Mr. Magazine™ Launch Monitor.

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