For any magazine to be successful and sell to their audience, they need to follow specific conventions. Although I wanted my music magazine to have a unique edge, I still had to follow magazine conventions in order for my chosen audience to be persuaded to purchase it.
Even Vogue, a fashion magazine has to follow conventions of a magazine to make it look genuine and professional!
The music magazine market is highly competitive, therefore by having a unique selling point that will stand out from other magazines is vital. So by following magazine conventions and adding a touch of individuality – your target audience will be enticed to purchase your product.
After looking at my initial idea, I decided to create a Christian music magazine targeted for 16-25 year olds. My research pointed out that this was a niche market, so my decision was to create a mixed genre music genre magazine that was aimed to sell to Christian teens that were interested in Christian music!
Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms of conventions of real media products?
The name of the magazine must relate to the genre of the magazine.
The image of the magazine must fit the content and the target audience.
Mode of address is created when in an image the person on the cover looks straight out of the magazine, not only does this invite the reader in but also creates a relationship with them.
The colour scheme creates a ‘house style’ and eventually becomes recognisable to the audience.
Price, barcode and web address
Stars and Celebrities related to the genre of the magazine/theme should be used - aspiring people sell magazines!
CCM Magazine: a popular Christian music magazine
Conventions of a Front Cover Title/Header (brand image) Main image, medium shot with MOD Date, price, barcode and web address Slogan Leading caption Subheadings Straplines My Magazine
Conventions of a Contents Page Extra Info on publishers etc Slogan (also on front cover ) List of contents Page references Images dominate the text to allow ‘grazing ’ Colourful and bright to encourage readers to read on Title/header usually at the top of the page Simple black and & white colour palette R.A.D Magazine My Magazine
Conventions of a Feature Article Headlines and subheadings usually containing a pun or wit, based on the artist and their life. This will catch the audiences attention Advertising the artists new album, tour, book, merchandise etc, Artists don’t appear in magazines unless they have something to sell Text grabs/anecdotes are used to add humour and controversy Images are used to break up text and keep article interesting – images should dominate the page
Q2: How does your media product represent particular social groups ? By using a different range of social groups and ethnicities: black female, Arabian male, Caucasian male and mixed race male, this has given my magazine the opportunity to present itself as a mixed music genre because of the variety in races and musical interest. This offers an alternative towards the dominant stereotypes when it comes to music genres. For example, by choosing Mimi, my leading artist to be associated with Indie/Pop singers – ‘Florence and the Machines and The Noisettes’ it means an innovation with Christian music and mainstream music itself because of the individuality my artists have.
Q3: Media Institutions For a successful magazine, it needs to be produced and distributed by a publishing company which specialises in the field. Popular publishing companies like IPC or BMG publish music magazines such as Uncut, NME and Q But since my music magazine is Christian based, I think that if I want my magazine to sell at it’s highest peak, I should research publishing companies which distribute existing Christian music magazines. Therefore, I came across Salem Publishing: produces and distributes former printed CCM magazine and current Homecoming Faith magazine Therefore by deciding to have Salem Publishing as my chosen institution, I don’t have to worry about promotion and marketing to a certain extent compared to if I chose a non-Christian publishing institution because of competitive pricing and strategies they have.
Q4: Audience An 18 year old boy said in my audience feedback “The target audience for music magazines can be anywhere from 12 to 30, I really can see no issues in the attraction of the magazine towards people of those ages." My target audience is 16-25, both genders and no preferential race, who listen to Christian music, Groups of A-C2 in the socio-Economic scale with a psychographic profiling of aspirers, succeeders and reformers because I think as a Christian, you aspire to be a better person whilst trying to succeed in life as well as wanting the world to be a better place. However, I don’t think that my target audience should be in any ‘lifestyle groupings’ because Christianity is the most popular religion with people coming from different backgrounds. So why would I want to specifically target my music magazine to ‘WASP’ or ‘KIPPERS’, when I can have them all?
Q5: Addressing your Audience Selecting a magazine name associated with Christian beliefs/teachings The artist on my front cover is stylish and on trend lace dress, striped boyfriend blazer and a layered Bob haircut. This will attract female readers, suggesting to them that she could be a new fashion icon. For males, using females for your front cover can add sex appeal (without even trying) A 22 year old boy from my audience feedback said “ … and plus she looks smokin’ hot!” Describing Mimi as a ‘new sensation’ attracts the audience to find out more about this ‘exclusive’ new artist Aiming to make my pages look professional with the constant colour schemes, edited images and creative layouts The style and layout of the magazine is very suiting in comparison to many of today's magazines on sale. The layout is captivating and draws in the reader. A 17 year old girl said “ your cover model looks well styled and the font and layout is dead cool"
Creating headings that will make your audience read on An 18 year old girl said “ the contents page makes me want to turn over and begin reading! The use of various colours, captions under page headings and the images used all contribute towards a sound reading" A 16 year old boy said “ I think the contents tries too hard to engage the reader, it is meant to be factual but not over powering” Interests me in reading the rest, the little bits under the headings are interesting and intriguing, like the one about prison, gangs drugs...Christ" A 16 year old girl said “ the contents page also entertains due to the good use of pictures and word art" Well edited images allow the audience to graze and find the contents page more interesting than informing On the other hand, it should not be too busy and distracting The overall presentation of the contents page should entice the audience. It should give a good first impression
Too much text scares readers away from reading article, especially a young target audience like mine, therefore, by spacing the paragraphs out and using images… it distracts the reader from the amount of text in the article An 18 year old boy said “ the article layout really does make me want to read on, by separating the main text with questions and short headings the page is split into sections and helps get the facts across to the reader very quickly.” A good piece of journalism flows, relates to the audience and keeps them entertained A 22 year old boy said “ the article helps the reader to imagine the situation and sympathise with the interviewee as well as feeling joyous on their behalf for the success of the music artist" Hyperbolic language, an exciting heading or snappy tagline will make the reader interested to read the article The title of the article is superb, "the new EDGE" instantly gets me as a reader questioning as to why this new and upcoming singer/song writer is a cut above the rest"
Q6: Technology from the process of constructing my product InDesign, for the formation and composition of the magazine. At first I really struggled using this software but looking back at the tutorials handed out, I began to find easier solutions to text wrap and edit page layouts. I used Photoshop for the editing of all my images in my magazine. I actually found this very easy because I already had knowledge on how to use it. However, trying to download fonts and paintbrushes was a tricky issue that I eventually tackled. By using various equipment and technology, it enables my music magazine to look professional and genuine like any other magazine on the market A 7.2 megapixel Samsung camera for the taking of my images and a Kodak scanner for my mood board and mock-up layouts. This helped me visualise what I wanted my preliminary and final product to look like,
Using Blogger to record my research, planning and evaluation was a good idea to help me continually build up on my progress. On the other hand, I'm very unorganised, therefore on occasions I would simply forget to record my development in the coursework! Using facebook for both my questionnaire and audience feedback was easier than giving my target audience hard copies, it meant that I could ask Christian friends in London and my cousin in Rome! Using a search engine like Google helps you track down all the information you need. For example, Google helped me find Salem Publishing and Christian music magazines currently on the market.
Preliminary VS. Final Product Image not cut out properly: lack of precision Image is in high key lighting, well edited and airbrushed Image is under-worked with side lighting No straplines Colours are too bright and contrasting Subheadings are positioned in a slanted angle to give it a more ‘edgy’ look
Overall, I think that my final product is successful. With the use of well composed layouts on all my pages, edited images that look professional and establishing a new artist, I could actually see this music magazine on the market.
On the other hand, think that I could have improved on the colour scheme to make it look more subtle and sophisticated.
After 10 weeks of researching, planning and producing my final product… I am proud to say that revelation magazine was solely created by me!