“While mainstream magazines, from Dolly to New Idea and the various ladies’ mags have been bleeding readers in recent years, many niche magazines, with far smaller print runs and far higher cover prices, are flourishing,” writes Clare Kermond in The Sydney Morning Herald.
And while mass market publishers try to figure out what happened, a movement toward niche and super-specialty titles is taking the industry by storm and rewriting the previous newsstand model.
“Planning to retro fit your house to be greener, having a hipster wedding, enjoying modern philosophy or looking for the perfect high-end bicycle? If it taps into a subculture tucked away in some corner of the world, chances are there’s a magazine out there to celebrate it,” notes Kermond.
As we’ve seen before, these new niche magazines are gorgeous and compelling, and aren’t afraid of charging accordingly. It’s even spurred one Australian company to create a newsstand and distribution model that can accommodate the new type of magazine.
“Among the shelves in Melbourne’s specialty magazine store MagNation, people gaze lovingly at the many titles, some as thick as a phone book, beautiful to look at and costing as much as $130,” Kermond notes.
The luxury potential of the printed piece continues to engage and delight readers who are often looking for a more satisfying experience than they can get from Pinterest or a newsfeed. A printed niche magazine fills that void, and increasingly they are relying on sales – not advertising – to drive the revenue.
“Print has become premium, where websites and blogs are the first-level filter. A lot of these magazines are a form of art and something collectable,” says Vali Valibhoy, owner of the four MagNation stores, who Kermond interviews.
Magazines are now hip again, and readers are looking for a more cerebral experience than digital offers. And they don’t mind paying for it when it speaks directly to their interests. This is a beautiful time to be in this industry, as a whole new paradigm begins to unfold.