Tag Archives: Dennis Publishing

Should men’s mags ‘upscale’?

Media Week recently asked four key media players (as in key people, not software) whether they agreed with reports that many publishers are now upscaling men’s mags to attract a more affluent reader and advertiser.

Three said ‘No’, while one said ‘Yes’. I’m still undecided. ‘Yes’, because more lower end readers are getting their fix online (hence the popularity of Dennis’ Monkeymag and IPC’s Nuts.co.uk and NME.com). But then I also say ‘No’ because there’ll always be an audience for men’s mags in the lower end. They perhaps just need to make them less embarrassing to read in public. The Sun, which is still going strong, is a perfect example.

So, if by upscale, we mean put less pics of bikni clad women on the cover a la GQ and Esquire, then I say ‘Yes – kinda’. I blogged about men’s mags upscaling a while back (and probably contradict myself).

Still on the topic of lads mags, great article by the Mirror’s Brian Reade today which pointed out the irony in Michael Gove MP blaming lads mags like Nuts, Zoo and Loaded for objectifying women. Brian wondered why Gove missed The Sun off the list, given that Page 3 was also a big offender. Surely nothing to do with Gove being a columnist for the Times, The Sun’s sister paper?

Do advertisers don’t ‘get’ digital virtual magazines?

After using them since 2005, the editor of surfing magazine Drift says that digital mags are a tough sell to advertisers. Users also prefer print magazines that they can flick through in the cafe, in a surf shop or in the back of a van (this is so Point Break).

I disagree. If digital editions of magazines, as in virtual page-turning magazines, don’t work because advertisers don’t ‘get’ them, then why is monkeymag.co.uk doing so well? I’d say it’s all about targeting the right audience with the right content.

I agree, the prospect of reading an indepth wordy three page feature in a digital magazine like monkeymag doesn’t appeal to me, but skimming through half page short features about quirky videos or ‘and finally’ oddball features does seem to work better for this medium.

Don’t dismiss the likes of virtual page magazines just yet. I’d argue that advertisers DO get this medium as they can relate it to the traditional print mag ad space concept. Just don’t ask advertisers to place their ads opposite a 600 word 10-point font feature.

Read more about Drift’s comments at paidContent.org.

Mansized.co.uk giving Monkeymag a run for its money

Big fan of Mansized.co.uk.

Despite the odd navigation, it’s a no-nonsense, boiled down version of a lad’s mag – only without the endless references to norks (whatever they are – female narcotics officers?).

BrandRepublic now reports that the site’s attracting 15,000 new users a month, which is seriously impressive. Staff at Dennis’ Monkeymag.co.uk take note.

If it could just attract more A-lister interviews (not limited to Hollywood celebs) and do more in the business and career space, I’d read it every day. This means touching on GQ.com, but that’s not a huge problem as its web content has yet to mirror the quality of its print title.

Set up by ex-Men’s Health staffer Will Callaghan in March 2006, the site shows its real value once you get hooked on its refreshingly non-abusive messageboards.

Monkeymag.co.uk overtakes print lads mag rivals Nuts and Zoo

The staff at Dennis Publishing’s digital only magazine monkeymag.co.uk should be celebrating after unique user stats for the site have overtaken circulation for print mags Nuts and Zoo.

Press Gazette reports ABCe figures which give the virtual page turning magazine (oddly, the linear navigation of a magazine works online) an average 271,667 users per edition. Nuts and Zoo magazine gets 270,053 and 179,006 respecitively each month.

Mad.co.uk reports that Dennis has signed up car maker Ford as its first client for a new customer publishing arm which will produce branded digital magazines.

A debate for another time – can you really compare uniques with paying readers of print mags?

Dennis to follow up monkeymag.co.uk with Gizmo site launch

Dennis Publishing is building on the success (not that we know exact user figures) of digital only lads mag monkeymag.co.uk with a website that aims to exploit the lucrative gadgets ‘n’ geeks market – called Gizmo.

Free and fornightly from 11 March, Gizmo copy monkeymag’s popular mix of content aggregation – namely magazines, websites and video to review and demonstrate products.

The Guardian reports Gizmo will target ABC1 men aged 25 to 45 from its database of 1.5 million male magazine readers of its titles such as PC Pro and Mac User.

Positive new launch Blah, Blah from Bruce Sandell, head of new product development at Dennis Publishing said the mag will bring a new format to the sector. And no doubt some decent advertising opportunities we think.

Ross Burridge, reviews editor at Dennis’ PC Pro has been appointed as editor.

Yet another gadget mag launch for men might seem a brave move in an already busy market, but each launch seems to do okay. As long as you target men that is – remeber Future Publishing’s decision to fold its female blog Gadget Candy.com into T3, after two years of toughing it out?

Is there such a finite marketing for girl geeks that the likes of Popgadget and Shiny Media’s popular Shiny Shiny blog are more than enough?

Until the lack of females in IT ‘crisis’ is reversed, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

See – no Yahoo / Microsoft merger talk here guvnor. Just real social issues affecting the UK – like what gadgets to buy.

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Dennis Publishing appoints Viz and Inside Poker man to monkeymag.co.uk

Dennis Publishing has appointed Richard Downey, publishing director of Viz and Inside Poker, to lead web only magazine monekymag.co.uk, after former Emap strategy director James Mallinson left following a company restructure.

Read more on Mad.co.uk

Maxim editor steps down

Maxim editor Derek Harbinson is leaving the Dennis Publishing magazine after just over a year in the job.

A former Loaded editor and deputy editor of Nuts replaced Greg Gutfeld last year, but has been unable to stop a fall in circulation, dropping to 107,687 in the first half of this year, down from 146,043 in the same period in 2006.

Is another redesign on the cards? What’s the bets Maxim will go up-market and glossier and ditch z-list cover girls as per its peers? This months cover features former WAG Danielle Lloyd.

NatMags pulls Jellyfish – is Monekymag next?

Natmags is believed to be pulling its virtual magazine website for girls, citing “distribution challenges.”

Duncan Edwards, chief executive of NatMags told Brand Republic that he couldn’t see a sustainable business model in the magazine. Live for 20 weeks, the mag recently shifted its focus from 13-19 year-olds to 18-25s.

Despite being received well as a product, NatMags managing director Jessica Burley said that distribution and marketing challenges were too significant.

What? As in the cost of hosting? Email marketing management? Is it the terms of the deal with Ceros, the virtual magazine application it sits on?

Well, no – according to PaidContent, Jellyfish had problems with its email newsletter and spam filters/firewalls.

A comment posted on the Brand Republic story asks if it’s a matter of time before Dennis Publishing’s similar virtual magazine Monkeymag.co.uk goes the same way. He also questions the choice of the virtual magazine application, given focuses on technology, saying that it’s ‘not very widely adopted’ software. Given that it loads in your normal browser, I doubt this is an accessibility issue.

I don’t think this is a debate about the end of ‘virtual magazines’. Nor is about email marketing and firewalls (I’m still stunned this was such a problem in this day and age).

It’s more about targeted content. Boys / males veer towards the (inexpensive) aggregation of existing content (e.g. cheap and widely available bone curnching videos of skateboarding dogs jumping through hoops of fire), while girls may favour the more crafted (and expensive) fashion tips, features and celeb pic content (not so available and ‘aggregatable’ on the web to use a non-existant word).

I’d say Monkeymag still has legs (it’s doing well with display ads, which Jellyfish wasn’t doing much of according to PaidContent).

A minor point – does anyone know the terms of a Ceros licence? Are publishers charged per user accessing the site for example? Let me know.

Go to Jellyfishmag.co.uk

Read the Brand Republic story

Ben Perreau! Editor of NME.com!! Leaving!!?

I can’t find any mention of this anywhere other than his newsletter, so I’m either way behind here or this is new news.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie to you. I don’t know much about Ben Perreau’s career apart from a page long NMA case study on NME.com, but I do know he’s a big deal. Why? Because he’s developed one of the best perfoming publisher sites in the world. One which squares up to the likes of MySpace Music and other broadcasting heavyweights.

Instead of seeing the web as a threat, Ben’s exploited NME’s equity in the print market and transferred that online. He looks to have used the classic approach of breaking universal and soon to be dead news on the web, and keeping exlcusive news and features for the money making print edition (not that the web isn’t making money – it is).

Ben mentions his departure in this week’s NME e-newsletter:

Hello for the very last time good friends,

This being my final week at NME, I’ve decided to be truly self-indulgent and write the newsletter myself. I’m leaving to find ways of inflicting my music tastes (among other things) on a whole new bunch. But don’t worry, NME.COM remains in very capable hands – ready to fly the flag as the world’s greatest music news destination without me, so make sure you keep coming back. In fact, we’re already working on masses more improvements in the NME.COM basement bunker, ready to drop in the coming months.

But you’ve not got rid of me yet, not before I’ve had a chance to tell you just what’s going on this week on NME.COM. It’s razor-sharp, as always: we’ve got the whole of Kate Nash’s debut album ‘Made Of Bricks’ to hear from Thursday, the whole of The Coral’s new album, ‘Roots And Echoes’, Dan Martin’s Too Much Information blog gets jiggy with Arctic Monkeys up at Old Trafford and there’s the new video from Paramore. Whatever your eyes and ears need: it’s all there, I assure you.

The magazine is chock-full too. There’s the first verdict on Babyshambles’ new album, the chance to get on the bill at Carling Weekend: Reading or Leeds Festival,
reviews of new music from The Courteneers, Tiny Masters Of Today, Love,
Franz Ferdinand and erm… Eddie Argos’ other band. Plus there’s the full-on
moshpit report from Arctic Monkeys’ greatest moment yet at Old Trafford this

There’s shedloads more – but that should be enough for starters. And that’s me. It’s been a blast – the greatest ever. Sail on, sailors. (sob)

Ben PerreauEditor, NME.COMxxx
PS. Until Friday, you can still email me
with any suggestions – I’ll make sure they get passed on.

Blimey. Dry your eyes mate. No idea where he’s going though. Is he staying within IPC
Media? Launching an online only music magazine brand (if so – why?)? Or is he doing
a James Carter
of Monkeymag.co.uk fame and leaving the publisher to launch
his own content venture?
Either way, Godspeed Ben. Oh, and watch out for the beginning of the dotcom
slowdown in September.
He’s going to Sky to work on content strategy / build some new websites.

The end of Revolution magazine in print?

New media business print mag Revolution is being offered in digital magazine format.

The mag, which is published by Michael Hestletine’s Haymarket Publishing, will be live for July/August’s edition (two months to account for the slow advertising period we imagine) for free as a virtual magazine after partnering with Ceros interface.

A report of the Ceros deal on Haymarket’s own Brand Republic failed to mention how ‘paperless’ the magazine might be in future, as in, will a print version continue to exist? Will one need to exist, now that advertisers are being offered rich media and links to their sites?

If so, will the mag continue as a free download and be funded by ads alone?

Although they feel like a throwback to 1999.com, ‘virtual’ magazines are taking off among publishers – perhaps because their ads are easier to sell. Advertisers ‘get’ the traditional quarter/half/full page ad slots.

It’s doubtful that Haymarket would go to all the trouble of laying out the mag only to pull the print version, but let’s wait and see.

Wonder what the team at Centaur’s New Media Age make of all this?
Update (15/10/07): At least one member of Centaur staff has read this post. Care to comment?