Gray area: After posting the earlier ” When is a custom published magazine not a custom published magazine? item, I received an M10 Report (not to be confused with N+1) e-mail with a link to this story. In it, my friend and fellow custom publisher Chris McMurry discusses his “magazine continuum” measure which reveals how lines blur in the whole “is it or is it not” debate.
Ultimately, however, what’s important isn’t the difference between custom and traditional magazines but the traits they can both leverage to best serve their audiences, according to McMurry. “This shouldn’t be a debate of whether a magazine is custom or traditional but where it is on the continuum,” he says.
The article also contains a list McMurry has compiled of the largest circulated “branded publications” that will launch a few conversations, no doubt. Great job, Chris.
Digital divide: Someone who knows I’ve blogged repeatedly about my confusion with the whole concept of a “digital magazine” has e-mailed to ask why I haven’t linked to this MediaPost.com story about IDG CEO Pat Kenealy raising questions about another aspect of the retro-neo-media-concept: how the auditing agencies measure “free subscriptions” to them. Okay, now I’ve linked to it. I still don’t “get” them.
When is a custom published magazine not a custom published magazine? From reading this NYT story by David Carr, we think a single-sponsored, self-contained magazine with the Zagat brand on it that is produced and distributed as an outsert by Hearst may not get labeled a “custom published” magazine. No doubt, my contention that this is a custom magazine will be rejected by some, but this duck quacks like a custom magazine whatever one calls it. No matter. It is a great idea. And it will work. And it’s brilliant.
Cadillac will have seven pages to market its STS car to well-heeled consumers drawn from the subscriber lists of seven Hearst magazines: Esquire; Harper’s Bazaar; O, the Oprah magazine; House Beautiful, SmartMoney; Town & Country; and Veranda. Executives of Hearst and Zagat said that Cadillac does not have any editorial input. The magazine will not be sold on newsstands….The magazine…is designed to serve a marketing function, albeit for a single client.
For the record, this is not a new concept. I don’t have the time to retell the history of custom published magazines delivered as an outsert, but believe me, it’s been done. And it’s a great idea. And I believe it should be done more often. (Disclosure: If you showed up here expective an objective opinion on this, then there’s something you need to know about this blogger.)
Expanding Kong’s kingdom: Here, I’ll just give the Chicago Tribune’s Jim Kirk the lead: “Not to worry, Chicago metrosexuals. There’s a magazine on the way just for you. Modern Luxury Inc., publisher of female-targeted CS (formerly Chicago Social), this fall plans to launch an extension of its 10-year-old magazine to be titled CS-The Men’s Book.” According to Kirk, Modern Luxury is “the expanding media empire” of brothers Michael and Stephen Kong. (Reminder: We don’t make this stuff up. We just point to it.)