Media Outlook 2005

CONSUMER MAGAZINES

A Circulation of One: How Magazines can Thrive in a New Age of Consumerism

Jack Griffin, President, Publishing Group Meredith Corporation

Much has been written, discussed, and sensationalized about the “I” voice that now pervades our culture. Apple's iPod and McDonald's “I'm Lovin' It” deliver a cultural message beyond memorable marketing campaigns. They say — and sell — “CustomIze Me.”

To consumers looking for commercial experiences that are more personalized, emotional, and connected, it's a message that's working.

What Role Will Magazines Play as the “I” Culture Evolves?

Samir Husni, the University of Mississippi journalism professor who is also known as “Mr. Magazine,” has said that of the 6,200 consumer magazines published in the U.S. today, only 10 percent are general-interest titles, down from 30 percent two decades ago. Magazines have become more specialized and targeted — and this trend will definitely continue. Dr. Husni has also pointed out that 2004 was a great year for magazine launches. Over 900 new titles made their debut — a level of vitality we haven't seen since 1998.