New [new] media

The print and digital landscape are undergoing massive changes. Print magazines are changing their sizes, and many websites no longer have a homepage, but rather being diverted to their social media platforms. This change is solely driven by audience demand and what media groups think will drive them to their brand.

Let’s first talk websites. One media group in particular, Clique Media Group, released a site, Obsessee, where the homepage is just comprised of social media buttons, ranging from Snapchat to Spotify. This is a revolutionary new approach to websites.

Obsessee's homepage
Obsessee’s homepage

According to Katherine Power, co-founder and chief executive of Clique Media Group, “Gen Z are not [visiting] dot coms,” and that they are a “very underserved group as far as great content goes.”

For the content creators of Obsessee, they are solely focused on publishing content that goes onto their social platforms. The content is a mix of stories and multimedia with a broader focus on lifestyle categories such as food, pop culture and friendship, as opposed to the usual lifestyle categories.

Clique is very optimistic about this engagement model, stating that they will monetize because advertising will be 100 percent integrated into the content.

Other media companies are beginning to shift to this model, and editors see it as a natural shift as audiences are shifting from desktop PCs to mobile.

This brings us to magazines. Vogue magazine debuted a bold new size for their May 2016 issue, featuring Taylor Swift on the cover. The new magazine measures 9 inches by 10 7/8 inches, compared to 8 inches by 10 7/8 inches. The magazine also features heavier paper stock and designed to be a more luxurious product. Additionally, it will sell for $6.99 as opposed to $5.99.

Photo courtesy of The Business of Fashion.
Photo courtesy of The Business of Fashion.

Another change is putting the focus on the May issue since the Met Ball, an annual fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute takes place early in the month. 

“May is not our bathing suit issue. It’s tied to the largest cultural institution in the United States,” Susan Plagemann, publisher and chief revenue officer of Vogue, says in an article for The Business of Fashion. “It’s an extraordinary exhibit of what Vogue has done for so long, and that is use culture as a lens of what’s happening the world.”

The magazine is also slated to have more emphasis on its content; they plan on adding more features stories to showcase the power of print. The goal of this is to create value for advertisers to keep them in the print product.

With the Internet, there hasn’t been quite as much emphasis on improving the print product, but many in the journalism industry see physical magazines making a comeback as a product of luxury with substantial content when compared to what’s published online. That’s what’s keeping them alive.

Innovation in both print and digital is going to mean everything for websites and magazines going forward, both from the content engagement and advertisers’ perspectives. It’ll change the way we think about and consume media in the future.

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