This summer, Time will produce a five issue, ten-week custom — and customizable — magazine for Lexus called “Mine.” The “customize” message embodied in the ability to personalize the content in the magazine echos the “branding message” of the Lexus 2010 RX suv that is being marketed as a “customizable” vehicle. While the approach, technology and even editorial concept dates back decades, it is being touted as something new that “tries to mimic in printed form the personalized news feeds that have become popular on the Internet.”
The magazine will be available in print to 31,000 respondents and an electronic-version of the print publication will be available to 200,000. (You can sign up now at Timeinc.com/mine.)
According to an AP story about the magazine, readers can select five titles from eight published by subsidiaries of Time Warner Inc. and American Express Co.: Time, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Money, In Style, Golf, and Travel + Leisure. Each issue will contain content selected by editors that correspond with the personal choices of the readers. There are 56 editorial combinations in all (the Lexus SUV has 22 customizable advertising message settings, plus eight options handled by a dealer).
For the past several decades, Time Inc and many other magazine publishers (including Hammock Inc) have utilized a wide variety of evolving printing and binding technology to customize and personalize advertising and editorial content to provide advertisers and readers a wide variety of publication options. Southern Living, for example, is customized for readers by geographic zones with advertising and special editorial sections. Ducks Unlimited magazine readers receive a customized version of the magazine depending on where they live in relation to specific migratory patterns.
Combining “re-purposed” content from various magazines is also an editorial approach with a long legacy. I can even recall an airline magazine from the 1980s used the format, but unfortunately can’t recall which airline. And, of course, magazines ranging from Readers Digest to the Utne Reader have used the format for decades.
I signed up for the print version and look forward to receiving it.
I’ll add a post here when it arrives.