MUSIC MAGAZINE RESEARCHHistory of the music magazine The first music magazine was founded in 1894, the magazine was called Billboard and was an international newsweekly magazine devoted to the music industry. Music magazines became really popular in the 1950’s-1960’s when magazines such as NME and Rolling Stones were founded.Biggest music magazine publishersAlthough there are many music magazines in the world there are a few that are popular in numerous countries, these are the 5 biggest music magazines;• Rolling stones-The definitive source of music information and popular culture trends, one of the most popular magazines of all time in any genre.• NME- The new music express popularly known by the initialism NME is a music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952.• Smash hits-A pop music magazine, aimed at teenagers and young adults• KERRANG-a UK-based magazine devoted to rock music, one of the longest running music magazines.• Billboard-You will find award winning and in depth coverage of every aspect of the music and entertainment business worldwide.
MUSIC MAGAZINE RESEARCH One of the most established music magazines in the world is the ‘new music express’ more commonly known as NME. Different magazines use different colours, layouts and mastheads to help audience recognise their magazine straight away. On this cover they have chose to go for quite a simple background so that the reader focuses on the picture. They have used a single image instead of numerous smaller ones and have kept the writing on the cover to a minimum. The designer of the cover basically just has the main picture the masthead and a large brightly coloured sell line that will stand out and catch the readers attention. the barcode is set at the bottom in a small white box so as it can be seen, but doesnt take any attention away from the cover, this is the convention of most magazines. NME uses similar colours in every issue, numerous magazines use the convention of keeping the colour the same in every issue. The colour scheme used in this issue is grey in the background and red in the front so as the red and grey contrasts and the red stands out, also the colour scheme is matching the colours of the cover girls clothes and make up. On the majority of magazines the masthead or name of the magazine stays the same font, not very often but sometimes designers change the colour/position of the masthead but never the font. In this issue the ‘NME’ is in the typical style of the magazine but has been changed to a brighter red to match the colour scheme and attract the readers attention. This cover appeals to their audience by putting someone on the front they listen to and using common conventions of that particular magazine.
MUSIC MAGAZINE RESEARCH Smash hits is another very popular music magazine, however it is very different to the conventions and style of NME. This issue is an accurate representation of ‘smash hits’ style and colour schemes, the colours used on this cover are bright, cool and will appeal to the demographic that this magazine has as its audience. Although they do use a large main picture, this cover also contains numerous other smaller pictures telling the audience what they can expect inside. Instead of solely concentrating on the cover girl this cover contains several sell lines that attempt to tempt the reader into buying the magazine. Similarly to most magazines the barcode is discreetly placed in the bottom corner, the designer has manipulated the image organised the model so that her head is tilted to the side looking straight into the camera. This will give the audience the impression that the model is looking straight at them with a sweet, cute emotion on her face. A convention of many magazines is to have the masthead at the top of the magazine in large letters, this issue doesnt brake that convention and has also put the name of the magazine at the top in large, bold letters. The designers of the magazine have put the main sell line in this issue in quite small letters, mainly because they think the picture is distracting enough to catch the readers attention. The audience of this magazine is young girls, so the designers appeal to their audience by using bright, feminine colours and putting features on the cover that will interest them and appeal to their age range.
The use of the ‘NME’ logo in big bold red text gives it a centre piece in the page. The gives the reader constant reminders of the name of the magazine and the resource to research the company on the internet or buy more NME merchandise. Thefont, colours and house style are all the same type which gives the magazine a bold, but effective way of presenting their pieces. The layout is also very similar which gives the magazine structure and the reader’s a clear understanding of where to find what article or piece. The contents pages the majority of the time in this magazine are simple and precise. The images used on the contents page feature two big stars making the magazine an even greater prospect as the audience will feel more engaged and want to read the magazine more with music bands like Oasis on the contents, this will lure the reader into buying the magazine. The audience targeted for this magazine is very clear and obviously doesn’t relate to social groups who like bird watching or race cars for example. It has specifically targeted people who enjoy rock and indie music through the use of an Oasis member and features on bands, such as, Arctic Monkeys. Also the colours and fonts used on the contents page arent going to appeal to young children, they purposelychoose them colours. The basic magazine structure consists of a ‘taster article’ on the contents page giving prospective buyers an insight into the content on the magazine. Thepronounced use of ‘subscribe today’ is a sly way of persuading and easily showing people how you can get the magazine on a regular occasion. The sub-headings are clear and precise and show you very easily where you can access that content in the magazine. The band index gives the reader and precise showing of what bands will be in the magazine. This may givethe readers more purpose to buy the magazine as maybe there could be a feature on their favourite band. The layout on this content page is the convention usually used in NME.
This magazine contents page is taken from the popmagazine ‘Smash Hits’, similarly to the NME contents pagethe contents of the magazine is set out in a confinedcolumn and shows the reader clearly what to expect in thisissue. The contents page is set out in two columns, there isa banner running across the bottom with details aboutwriters and photographers for the magazine. On the righthand side of the page their are pictures of pop artists withcaptions and a letter to the reader from the magazineeditor, the pictures are the main feature on the page. Themagazine has done this because the age range who readthis magazine would prefer pictures of their favorite popstars writing about music. The target audience for thismagazine is teenage girls this is apparent because themain colour used on this page is pink, and we associate thecolour pink with femininity. Also we can tell the targetaudience is young, teenage girls from the bands featured inthe magazine, ‘Mcfly’ and ‘Blue’ are bands that have a largefollowing of young girls so therefore putting them in themagazine will persuade girls of a certain age range to buy it.In contrast to NME’s contents page it doesnt have anadvertisement for subscription, suggesting the people whobuy ‘Smash Hits’ don’t have as much disposable income aspeople buying NME. Also there is a considerable lot lesswriting, added emphasis on the pictures and the captionswhich are highlighted to attract the readers attention.
For this double page spread half of the page has been used for a picture. The picture includes all the members of the band, however the lead singer is slightly further forward highlighting his position in the band. The picture is set behind a quotation in bold capital letters, the quote is very arrogant which will make people want to read on and the font just emphasises this more. Another picture is set in the middle of the text to break it up so that people dont get bored of reading because a lot of reading can become dreary. The introduction from the interviewer at the top of the right hand side is written in a different font so that it stands out and the reader can establish the difference. The writer has picked out certain quotes from the interview that he thinks would be appealing to the reader, these quotes has been highlighted in orange so they stand out from the rest of the text. The colours used are a common convention in NME, black white and then a bright colour to make certain things stand out is a style this particular magazine use a lot. All of these factors contribute to producing the magazine in a way that this particular magazines target audience will approve of.
The title for this double page spread is clear and gives out a very alarming but clear message, as it would make the reader question how she is such a shy girl but can then instantly turn to being wild in front of thousands of people, this would encourage people to buy the magazine. The writing on the left hand side of the double page spread appears to be in an interview format, and it is clear from the question to the answer. I feel that having interviews within a magazine is key, as it gives an artists perspective and input from their own, It also gives a personal input within the magazine instead of the magazine continuing to constantly make their own stories. I personally like this idea within a magazine and think more people would buy magazines if they had this aspect. If a reader didn’t know who the artist was It isn’t particularly clear, yes her name is on a subtitle at first glace it isnt obvious. The main picture is very feminine and girly , the beautiful person on the front catches peoples attention which will get them interested. This double page spread continues with the conventional style the whole way through, and is exceptionally easy to recognize because of the bright and bold colors within it. The picture is the main feature on the page and there isn’t much writing, this appeals to the target audience and therefore ensures the magazine will be bought.
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