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How Magazines Can Survive the Digital Age

September 24, 2013

On #brownbeauty last Sunday we talked about magazine aimed at women of colour and how effective they were. There were many valid points made but one of them was how magazines need to extend their brand as a way of engaging with new readers and staying relevant. Actually that point was made by me but whatever. A lot of comments were made about how magazines need to improve their online presence with better content and a well deserved website. We are living in an age where print magazines appear to be dying for a wide variety of reasons but a lot of them are coming back with exciting ventures such brand collaborations and off shoot publications. Last but not least there are niche publications that cover tech and online culture.

Brand Collaborations
I got really excited when news about Company magazine’s collaboration with Google + popped in my inbox this morning. Company are producing a Social issue for January which will be created from Google’s London headquarters. Talk about exciting! Since their massive revamp last year Company have gone from strength to strength and employed different tactics in order to establish a relationship with their readers. There is the Facebook page where they ask for feedback on the magazine as well as reader events, blogger events and the Beauty Awards that took place last month. While producing the Social issue, the editorial team will work in a pop up office at Google during the last week of October. There will also be a live editorial meeting via Google Hangout on Thursday 24th October at 7pm. The Company team will be posting behind-the-scenes reports on the website from their time at the Google office.

The January 2014 issue of Company magazine will be published on 11 December.

Offshoot Publications
Elle have been doing this for years with Elle Collections and in 2010 Company magazine launched their High Street Edit publication that is published quarterly. The same year Cosmopolitan launched Cosmo on Campus which is targeted at students across the country. The idea of an off shoot publication is that it uses an established brand that is trusted while leveraging completing new content that presents them as experts in that field. Cosmopolitan have just launched FASHION which is a go to place for the latest on trends, catwalk collections and shopping inspiration. The magazine is a luxury one with amazing photography and illustrations which is reflected in the price of £4.99. As Cosmopolitan is regarded as a lifestyle magazines that educates us about relationships, career and beauty then FASHION will be a great way for fashionistas to take them seriously.

FASHION is priced at £4.99, or get the digital version via

Niche Publications
Courier is a paper that covers tech and creative start-up companies. Produced by creative agency, Tomorrowland, it is a business publication with a creative flair that represents todays culture full of entrepreneurs who are using their skills and creativity to set up new ventures. I have not seen a copy of this but look out for a full review when I finally get my hands on one.

These are all great examples of how magazines can survive the digital age.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Agree that magazine brands need to stretch their influence beyond the printed page. Company’s circulation figures have plunged since the revamp but if they can increase their udince elsewhere then that will strengthen the brand. The Google stuff sounds fantastic!

    Cosmo has tried off-shoot publications in the past. Cosmo Hair and Beauty and Cosmo Bride both failed to last the distance. I’m not sure these ‘high street’ magazines have enough clout to stay relevant to younger markets who are used to getting free content online. I just don’t think it’s special enough. We’ll have to see on that one.

    Courier mag is brilliant. It’s a cross between a mag and a paper. The quality of the product (journalism, deign) is fantastic. Some of it is online at

  • Reply
    September 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Great post. I agree with everything that you’re saying about how magazines can survive in the digital age. Women of colour publications need to really tap into brand extension in order to survive. Would be nice to see a collaboration with bloggers and even events on how to get into the fashion and beauty industry. Yes there’s no such thing as an original idea but you can always do something different. It’s all about thinking outside of the box.


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