Our news magazine is losing readership. We need to decide if we’re going to keep it or create a magazine that is tailored for a niche audience? What arguments are there for and against demassification? Pick a side and argue your point.
That’s a tough one, when something starts losing something it’s pretty hard to get it back. it’s defitnamly includes readers cause once somebody finds the reading boring and not for them anymore, they will just go to something else that will intrigue and entertain them in certain ways. I mean you could create a whole news type of magazine aimed at a another audience or at least try and get that audience to come over and pick up the magazine. There’s just so many types out there it’s hard to bedroom that one that everybody knows and recognizes. I believe we can keep the idea but maybe change some things around or perhaps adding new things in there to widen the audience and such. Like putting in random facts no one know about or thought about, maybe have like different articles from different perspectives on different matters like college students telling about journalism and how with the right credentials or words you to can become somebody everybody will be listening and talking about. Even adding as something simple as like a blank space where people can write about the topics they read and maybe even have a contest for who ever writes the best response to this weeks topic will get a prize like money or a program for their device. Little things like that can grab an audience, but like creating new magazine, you just don’t know how it will work out and sometimes you just got to take that chance.
It is difficult to get something back that you have lost. Readership is going to be a tough thing to gain back and is the main reason why change is necessary in our case. I think that if we widen the audience, we may just lose more readers. I personally think that tailoring our magazine to serve a certain niche is where we need to go. Just my opinion though.
We need to consider the pros and cons of “demassification.” If we remain a magazine that covers broad subject areas, it may appeal to to those who’s interests are not confined to one single topic. For example, if a person is interested in political, gaming, and automobile news, he would most likely have to purchase three different magazines in order to get all the information he wants. On the other hand, if we cover multiple stories in multiple areas, that same person could very well purchase just one of our Haveman Chronicle magazines and get more or less the same information. Although that information would not be as in-depth, it would be cheaper and at least cover the general sense of things. Tailoring our magazine to a niche audience would also have its perks. Because general information is easily accessible by internet, television, and radio, what would make people choose us over any of those media? The fact that we are specialized in a specific area and know our stuff, that’s what. People buy the “American Rifleman” because their reporters know and follow guns and the latest politics relating thereof. People buy “Gameinformer” because that magazine covers almost every piece of news on games, systems, and the like. “Time” magazine does something similar by making each new issue orientated around a common theme. Their topics do not stay static, but whatever topic an issue is about, you can bet that they did their research on it. I personally believe that this “demassification” technique is the best way to bring in more subscribers and more readers. The news stations, radio broadcasts, and major websites can cover everyday happenings, but no one would be able to match our dedication to analysis.
I think that your take on the appeal to covering mass subject matters to certain folks is right on. Yes, it definitely does make sense for some people. It makes sense financially and for convenience of only having to buy one magazine for multiple subject matters. You cover the initial problem that becomes very apparent with covering so much in one magazine. No one topic is covered in depth, but just in brief. That’s why Game Informer is so amazingly popular and successful. These gamers need in depth information and not a brief synopsis. Thanks for your thoughts.
Demassification is an interesting subject and one that we should think about critically for the Haveman Chronicle’s Magazine future. We are at a point where we are losing our readers and we need to find something that will net us a positive outcome. Lets look at the most successful magazines today by circulation; Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, Game Informer, and Better Homes and Gardens. What do all of these magazines have in common, besides their success? They all serve a specific niche or targeted customer group. I think that by simplifying our magazine to serve a certain group or niche will help get our readership numbers back up. Now, some magazines are extremely successful that cover a wide range of topics. People Magazine and Time Magazine both do wonderful jobs at this. Demassification of a magazine is not black and white. When I say this, I mean that it’s not always a good thing or a bad thing necessarily. I feel that we need to make a change, that aspect is obvious. The task at hand now is to figure out what that change will be. Since the Haveman Chronicle covers a wide range of topics currently, I say lets simplify it and come up with a niche or group to target.
Week Three: Jasmine Dierenfield
September 20, 2014 – Conference Room – no comments
The Haveman Chronicle has seen significant struggles in the world of magazine mass media. Up for debate is the idea of demassification — yes or no? There are drawbacks. The range of audience would decrease, not necessarily meaning loss of profit or circulation however. With a specific audience target, we could potentially engage readers at a larger rate than current numbers show. In fact, after WWII, the magazine media saw significant success focusing on a specific audience target. According to our text, “the industry had hit on the secret of success: specialization and a lifestyle orientationâ€ (104). History, therefore, supports demassification for the success of magazines.
One major drawback is the amount of control that advertisers can gain over the editorial staff at a magazine. Having advertisements in specialized or demassified magazines can help make the magazine even more successful, affordable, and obtainable by the target population. However, advertisers attempt to exert influence over content (115). The magazine is expected to satisfy not only the readers, but also the advertisers. So what happens when the advertiser wants to have a huge say in not only the placement of their ads, but also the presence of other ads and content of the magazine? There is a power struggle present, one that can alter the entire state of being of the magazine.
Specialization could prove quite fruitful for our magazine business, but I have to wonder if it’d be worth it. The mass media business is incredibly competitive, and it might be hard to not buckle under the pressure of advertisers to bend to their wishes. I think it would be wise to put effort and focus into other aspects of our company. I would hate to see the magazine be trapped into an ad-pull policy, which is “the demand for an advance review of a magazine’s content, with the threat of pulled advertising if dissatisfied with that contentâ€ (116). The stress of dealing with these issues could not only cause set backs in the magazine front, but also could pull attention, potential, and effort away from the rest of the mass media used by the Haveman. Maybe it would be best to put our focus into other areas and make sure they are secure before we undertake a big transition like demassification.
Every magazine that is out there targets a specific type of readership, that is what makes them successful. They have a solid loyal customer base and that is what keeps them from dying out. the Haveman does cover many topics, trying to reach as many people as possible isn’t always a good thing. We are stretching the paper thin and not doing what’s best. If we want it to be more successful and have more readers we need to focus on a certain type of reader and go after them with what they are looking to read about.
I fall in with many of my classmates when I say we should create a magazine that caters to just one audience. There is less of a chance of failure if we go in this direction. Like one classmate said, if we focus on one group, then we have a loyal fan base. While we may start out rough, the more word gets out in the community we are focusing on, our readership will go up and continue to increase or stay steady. It’ll take a few months, maybe even a few years but as long as our numbers are going up then we will be successful. All it takes is getting someone from the community to hire on in order to give us an idea of what the focus is at that point in time and we can keep up with the changes that happen in every world. From there, all it would take is paying attention to the trends and making sure everyone keeps up with them when writing their articles.
As it has been stated above a few times I do believe that once a magazine is in a decline and trying to gain readership back is where they go wrong. The loss of a majority of readers does not mean that the reading itself should branch out and attempt to cover more and more because it will not compete with those writing on the internet. These must stick to the topic at hand and worry far more on the content being up to date and making it to be what others do not have or may be lacking in. Gaining back a reader is something that is very tough to do because they may have a bias towards picking up the magazine again, however I can say that even for myself that once the writers have been able to pick up on better writing and focusing on the subject which the magazine is suppose to cover then I have been won back, plus keeping things interesting makes it for a fun read.
I agree. If a magazine is losing readership, even despite the new introduction of another form of media, they have to work to get that readership back. They need to research why they are losing readers and then make steps to correct it. Maybe its their content, readers might want more real-based articles, or even they disapprove of photo-shopping celebrities. They must adapt to survive. Also, if a magazine is willing to go the extra mile to give the reader what they are asking for to get them back as subscribers, they will keep the fan base longer.
Just as magazines in the 1940s and 1950s had to adapt to the decline in their readership, I think we also need to follow that concept. Magazines had to change their demographic in order to compete with television, which they did successfully because they are still around. In order for us to remain a serious contender with the current forms of mass media, we need to figure out what we have to offer our readers that will connect them to the media drawing them away from us. If it is online use or television, we need to find some innovative ideas that will link us to the readers.
While advertising could play a huge role in promoting readership, demassification could be another way. By using ratings for television programming or checking on websites hits, we can direct our content towards what our readers are searching for and not finding within the pages of our magazine. We can then adapt to the times and become focused on what’s current, becoming an ever changing medium that will stay alive amongst the ever-changing times. Just as celebrities, such as Madonna and Cher, have had to adapt and change their images in order to remain successful, we also need to do the same.
The problem with a magazine that covers a wide range of topics to target a large audience is that it essentially becomes a “jack-of-all-trades”. That is, it might be just okay at a lot of things, but it never excels in any one thing. The people who would be interested in certain topics will likely turn to other sources that cover their interests in more detail. Therefore, the Haveman should try to appeal to a niche demographic. In doing so, odds are good that it will gain a dedicated group of new readers interested in that topic.
It is my firm belief that strong preferences matter in media consumption. In a world where the specificity of interest has been compounded by the ability of the internet to organize individuals into identity groupings, people are clamoring more and more for content that is tailored to their unique interests. Services like Reddit have demonstrated that communities of thousands of individuals are capable of existing even around very niche concepts and tastes. When everyone is being approached by avenues of communication that seek to validate them on levels that they assign a great deal of value to, it is inadvisable to try and cast the widest net possible. Focusing our coverage and articles on a more narrow range of subjects would allow us to more strongly engage with readers who are invested in those topics. Building a loyal fanbase is more in our interests than chasing a theoretically infinite number of barely engaged subscribers. A niche magazine is the way forward for the Chronicle.
I don’t believe we should create an entirely new magazine tailored for a different audience. We should move all of our articles online, and hire new blogger/journalists that can create wonderfully sensationalized titles in order to get ad revenue. The more subjects we cover, the more people we reach. Our company should diversify the type of content we are putting out there, and make those lists, like, “Top 15 Celebrities Our Past Presidents Would Totally Date” but have each number be on it’s own page to once again, maximize our ad revenue and page views.
Since the arguments for demassification have been clearly spelled out, I thought I might add my thoughts against the move.
I thought it would be interesting to create the magazines in sections that could be divided among the different readers in a house. This is dividing it into niches, but still the magazine would have the flexibility to report on all subjects. Let’s say I want cooking and housekeeping tips, my husband wants the sports section and financial reports and my kids (lets make them 5 and 14) would each receive an age appropriate section on the latest games educational articles, all received by mail in one monthly subscription.
I think we should seriously consider creating a magazine for a niche audience. Publications cannot force people to be interested in what they are writing about, but they can consider the audience they are best connecting with and give that audience something to be interested in. If we’re not reaching a certain demographic, we shouldn’t fret, we should get excited about writing what we are passionate about and getting excited about writing for an audience that truly cares about what we have to say.
The Haveman Chronicle (Summer)
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