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Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Free weekly men's magazine - can it work?

Former IPC editorial director Mike Soutar has reunited with ex-Nuts editor Phil Hilton to launch a national free weekly men's magazine targeting "ignored affluent young men".

Well, well.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before this happened wasn't it. After all free isn't exactly new in the publishing world! We have had free newspapers for a while and all over the world. We've even had free magazines but I dont know we have had free men's magazine but I could be wrong.

Can this work?

Management is smart and experienced and has an enviable track record of success and a great deal of knowledge of men. All valuable and essential to success.

Backers have deep pockets.

Free removes a big obstacle to take up.

Couple of questions.

Is there a market? the affluent mens paid titles are struggling and one or two of them are actually quite good (GQ). Going to need be really good and really, really different to suceed.

Is there enough advertising? ads are the sole revenue stream and this effort is going to need to get the right brands in and at a premium price. Are the brands there? And will they pay the required price? Traditionally premuim brands have tended to stay away from free saying its wrong environment etc.

Distribution? please save us from more abuse as we enter the transport system! Begs the question where will this magazine be distribution and how?

I think this will be tough.

The backers will need their deep pockets and the management all their skills and experience.

My one piece of advice is pick the very best sales director you can ....persuading brands into the magazine will be challenging!

Good luck. We wish you well with it.

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