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?
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.
Guess what? Esquire magazine’s website hasn’t launched. In fact, it hasn’t been launching since August last year, despite the ‘coming soon’ on its homepage.
Why the long wait? Are staff too busy working on the paid for print mag? Are plans to launch each quarter continually being shelved because of the ever shifting sands that are this week’s in vogue content platforms? Or is there a niggling doubt that the mag’s high net worth readers won’t have time to watch UGC videos of skateboarding dogs?
What gives NatMags? And what does the web team over at GQ think of all this?
Wapfly is helping publishers like EMAP put a stake in the ground for mobile content. Why blog about these guys? Because they’re now helping Condé Nast relaunch GQ, Vogue and Glamour as “off portal” sites, says the Guardian.
MediaGuardian’s blogger Jemima Kiss today provides us with some pearls of wisdom (wait…) with a minor note on new quarterly glossy Intelligent Life, the Economist’s ‘new oyster’ (see what I did there?).
Expanded from annual to a quarterly title, no doubt to exploit the current success of high-end men’s glossies, the mag will be, “looking at the ways people spend their time and money outside the office,” suggests editor Edward Carr.
Opinion on Jemima’s blog seems mixed about the GQ-me-too mag, but I’ll no doubt thumb through a copy (I’d buy it, but the cover price is no doubt me too).
I thought about picking it up it after those polite teenagers at Waitrose had given the gold covered mag a bit of prominence above GQ and Esquire.
Talking of Esquire, the UK edition’s revamp is looking great, with its new minimalist design and a polished Michelle Pfeiffer. I originally thought Waitrose had started stocking the US edition, but then spotted David Badeil on the cover. Definitely not the US edition. I didn’t even make it to his column’s headline after spotting his portrait pic – think IT engineer at a black tie Christmas party.
GQ.com’s decision to publish a round-up of the day’s news just before lunchtime makes common sense.
It’s clear what they’re trying to do, what with the bold: ‘TODAY’S HEADLINES WE SCAN THE PAPERS SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO’ strapline at the top of the day’s headlines.
But one thing – what share of GQ.com visitors have already read the headlines of the day by the time GQ’s new email newsletter comes out? Assuming GQ.com’s audience is made up of readers who scan ‘quality’ papers in the morning on the tube or train, how many will click through to the news round up? How many, for example, will have already scanned the headlines or got a round up elsewhere and want the full story?
I’m not stirring – as someone with an interest in making content work, I’m genuinely interested in the motivation behind the service, and importantly, whether it’s delivering.
Is GQ.com destined to become the thinking man’s news-lite site of choice?
Okay, no user’s going to ditch Guardian Unlimited, BBC News or even Telegraph.co.uk for GQ.com’s news output, but it seems to have planted its stake firmly in the ground for a new news analysis / ‘…and finally’ features site. Take a look at the now daily distributed email newsletter, its timely news items and the ‘Breaking Stories on GQ.com >>>’ banner at the bottom of the page.
Let’s revisit this new strategy in a few months time shall we?
Behold the brand spanking new email newsletter from GQ magazine. But wait – what’s that at the top?! A ‘quote of the day’ from GQ editor Dylan Jones:
GQ, the magazine we are the proud custodians of, is aimed at men who are proud to call themselves Alpha Males.
Hmm – would this be a cheeky reference to Alpha One, the code-name of the new free upmarket men’s title by Mike Souter, former editor-in-chief of Emap’s FHM?
It could be given recent media coverage of the men’s lifestyle market. An article on today’s FT.com pretty much confirms what the industry’s known for a while – the lower end of the market are shifting their efforts to the web, while the all the up market glossies like GQ, Men’s Health and Esquire are enjoying increases in readership. This explains FHM’s relaunch and move towards the Arena / GQ market.
…because he’s the editor. Of glossy magazine GQ. And that’s what editors of glossy magazines do. People in his office even make sure they get him out of the office when photographers visit.
Highlight: Dylan met David Bailey on a shoot. Was a bit snippy and called Dylan a name. So Dylan answered him back with a witty retort because “with Bailey, you have to give as good as you get.” Since then they’ve been THE BEST OF FRIENDS.
EMAP’s FHM magazine – relaunched today – is thought to be focusing on a content strategy described as ‘Arena meets Men’s Health’.
Relegating its traditional recipe of z-list babes and shock pics to EMAP’s web vehicles, new editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera is thought to be building on his success with niche interest and high end features in the likes of Arena magazine.
As well as gadgets, PC advice and technology, health and fitness will also feature following succcess with the increasingly popular Men’s Health magazine.
A new twist on the agony aunt – 100 year old men advising readers on the finer elements of life.
Arena is now thought to be changing its focus to go more high brow, targeting GQ audiences.
Noguera took over the reigns at FHM in February this year after editor-in-chief Ross Brown left after 10 years at the helm.
The new magazine features a cover which boasts of being ‘Under New Management’. By this, we assume this means Brown is not the only member of staff to no longer be with the magazine.
‘After three months of late nights that saw the destruction of 5,000 chocolate digestives and a 30% increase in shares of Nescafe, we’ve cracked it,’ reveals the FHM.com website.
A new broom if ever there was one. All eyes are on Noguera.