Monday, 13 May 2013

Key features of a music magazine...

Five key features
1/ Cover –
  • Key image – usually medium or medium close up of artist who is this month’s key artist - does the style/pose/attitude of the cover artists differ depending on the magazine and audience?  Of course it does, so talk about a couple of specific examples.
  • Coverlines relating to a variety of artists that reflect your target audience - give examples.
  • Use of other images to attract attention to the stories inside – again, to reflect the interests of your target audience. See the first bullet point!
  • Free gift – CD or note of free downloads
  • Use of colour – either vibrant to attract an audience or to reflect housestyle so your magazine has a recognisable identity
  • Fairly simple range of fonts in most cases – some (Kerrang!) more complex
  • Look at the mode of address - language and images that treat the readers as knowledgeable/colloquial/informal language – allows the audience to relate to the contents, so they’ll be more likely to buy the product. Obviously, this depends on the magazine. The mode of address of Top of the Pops magazine is different to Mojo, which, in turn, is different to NME.
2/ Website – biggest competitor to music magazines – source of information/gossip/videos/streaming music/illegal and legal downloads/ reviews – so music magazines have their own. Look at a couple. What features do they have? How do they encourage audience participation. Though Smash Hits ceased publishing in 2006, its website still thrives with Smash Hits Radio. Videos, news, competitions, the Smash Hits music player…

3/ Links to social network sites – extremely popular fans can post reviews the night of s gig; spread the word about music or bands – magazines capitalise on this by having their own Twitter and Facebook links. Pick a magazine or two and look what the websites offer. The psychology behind interactivity is that it gives the readers a sense of ownership so they build up a realtionship with the magazine and they will be more likely to buy the product.

4/ Features/articles/reviews etc – see cover – but Top of the Pops, knowing its audience, has diversified into more of a lifestyle/celebrity gossip magazine for teenage girls – explain how! Heavily illustrated and informative; carefully targeted to its audience.  Kerrang! and Rock Sound use a lot of photos from live gigs and push music as a live experience. NME - weekly magazine - audience enjoys its live music - has lists of gigs at smaller local venues around the country and invites readers to submit notice of them for publication. Pick a couple of magazine and look at the way the contents is targeted towards their particular audience. There's plenty of information in the recent posts on this blog. It's there to help you, so use it.

5/ Interactivity – how do the magazines encourage interactivity OTHER than internet links? Competitions? Crosswords? Prizes? Letters pages? NME invites readers to submit notice of gigs and have a ‘stalker’ feature on the letters page where people are invited to submit photos of themselves with artists. Top of the Pops magazine – beauty advice, ‘Oops’ – readers invited to submit embarrassing stories; readers submit questions for stars; letters page, for example…

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