Proof positive that magazines are not just for mass market publishers any more: Jamie Cullum, noted UK singer-songwriter, recently talked about the success of his Eighty-Eight Journal.
“If you focus on making something beautiful, original, interesting and lasting, brands will want to buy into that,” Cullum is quoted as saying in this article in Print Power.
The idea came about as a natural extension of his concert merchandising.
“I wanted to give my fans something that I would want as a fan, and I’ve always had a real passion for magazines, from when I collected fanzines when I was a teenager to collecting comics to seeking out the most beautiful, interesting examples of the magazine art form today. For me, a beautifully produced magazine is something to treasure – not this temporary, throwaway thing it’s sometimes regarded as,” he notes.
While he claims to have started the magazine out of love, not money, he is finding that it has seriously viability as a commercial product in this new publishing environment.
“There’s a real renaissance now in independent print magazines,” Cullum notes. “Because the mass market has declined, it’s opened up the market for creativity and independent, entrepreneurial spirits. I want The Eighty-Eight to be part of that. A lot of these magazines are design-led, and that’s important because you can really make the most of print’s tactile visuals that way. But it’s also really important to me that the writing’s good.”
Interestingly, he launched a digital version of the magazine last summer, and claims that it led to a spike in print sales.
“Obviously people thought, ‘I like this so I’d like to get hold of the real thing.’ Digital is fine as a way of promoting the brand, but print’s where magazines really belong, and I think readers feel that way too,” Cullum notes.
We are seeing more and more brands branch out into print and control their own content destiny. Music to our ears, for certain.