Codes and conventions
• Front cover
o Full bleed image
• Double page spread
o The artist and main image
o Pull quote
o Page number and logo
• Contents page
o Images (sometimes collage)
o Editors note
o Magazine cover
o Page numbers
o Issue number
Why do audiences read magazines? What do we expect from a music magazine?
• They identify and accept their niche.
• Print format allows a storytelling experience that online doesn't.
• Most people rely on music magazines for honest, trustworthy and reliable reviews of the latest songs
and albums out. People wouldn’t spend their own money on a magazine if they didn’t think that the
reviews were at least decent.
• We also expect the latest, most popular artists to be featured in magazines, especially during the time
that they wish to promote their products (whether it be an album or an upcoming tour).
• We expect to be told information about the latest concerts, gigs and festivals coming up as well as music
award ceremonies such as the Grammy’, Brits and VMAs.
• Music magazines can also offer freebies and competitions which entices the audience to read the
magazine. Free posters are often a hit as, especially with the recession, posters are rising up in price and
customers feel as though they have are getting a good value for their money. People like winning things
and this can give them a personal relationship with the magazine.
• The audience are also offered high quality images of their favoured musicians, of which they wouldn’t be
able to keep anywhere else.
• We get a personal look into the music industry.
• In some, but not all cases, we can expect gossip about the musicians, which is especially a hit with the
female audiences as it keeps them up to date with the music industry and gives them a relationship with
Pleasure and benefits
• People enjoy magazines to create relationships for them, for example
friendship groups can form around many different things and music is a
big influence of many people’s lives, therefore many friendships can begin
from reading the same magazines and listening to the same music.
• The pleasure of winning a competition and gaining freebies as you feel as
though you have a saved money.
• Feeling as though you have a personal relationship with the magazine.
• Print format allows a storytelling experience that online doesn't.
• You feel as though you are a part of a community.
Why do people still read music magazines in light of access to the internet?
• Its possible value in the future.
• It allows them to find other artists that are like the ones they listen to.
• They can find out about competitions and gigs/concerts that are related
to the genre of music that the magazine is based on.
• You can also carry magazines around with you whilst travelling, whilst not
everyone has access to the internet 24/7.
• People enjoy seeing things physically, and to have a sense of the content
being presented to flick through.
• Superiority – what deserves more space than others (in terms of articles
and the size of pictures of artists etc).
• Finding out what has made the cut of that edition (whether it be monthly,
• Being able to immerse yourself in the pages of magazines,
• Be in the minds of the people writing.
• The indie genre is primarily presented through the actual artist or/and
band of the genre. The bands within the indie genre are usually extremely
unique to one another and portray this both at their live performances
and in their music videos. Most indie music videos are actually presented
to the audience by a live performance and you will commonly see this with
bands such as Mumford & Sons and Foster The People. If you look at the
popular indie bands out there, you will see that they all have that unique,
alternative style to them, in which a lot of them will be dressed in
dark/indie outfits. This is what being a successful and popular rock band is
all about; being different.
• Besides the band and artist, there are a lot more typical features of an
indie music video. In terms of colours, what you will almost always see in a
rock music video is the use of dark colours. Where as pop videos are
commonly associated with bright 'happy' colours, indie music videos
typically use black as a way of portraying the genre towards the audience.
• Indie and alternative music is generally represented in many
different ways. It is aimed towards both males and females,
perhaps young adults/adults as it is a mix between rock and pop.
• Indie is well known for being ‘independent’ and diverse in contrast
to other music genres; reflecting it’s listeners.
A lot of dark, dull colours
White or light fonts
Use of bands playing live
Instruments eg. Drums, guitar
Not just a single musician
Mid to long shot images
Independent Music Awards
The INDIES Awards
AIM Indie Awards
Oakland Indie Awards
Drapers Indie Awards
o Arcade Fire
o The 1975
o Mumford & Sons
o The Smiths
o Vampire Weekend
o Florence and the Machine
o Neon Bible (2007), Reflektor (2013)
o The 1975 (2013)
o Sigh No More (2009), Babel (2012)
o The Smiths (1984)
o Vampire Weekend (2008)
o Lungs (2009), Ceremonials (2011)
• Attitudes (stereotypes)
o Individual, cool
o Carelessness, freedom
o Shy, artistic
o Sarcastic, humorous, smart
o Very opinionated
o The ideology of the genre of music affects the magazines representation in many ways, including the
mode of address and the visual aesthetics of the magazine. Magazines such as Kerrang! tend to use
more aggressive and 'in your face language', even the tittle 'Kerrang' denotes the loud and harsh noise
a guitar makes, accompanied by and exclamation mark you can instantly tell the way in which it talks to
its reader. Visually, Kerrang! has a very crowded front cover, with a mix of colours, images, graphics and
fonts. This is of large contrast to a magazine such as The Radio Times, which tends to use pre-modifiers
in order to build up a description in the readers mind
o Indie music is often a little rough around the edges with lots of guitar solos that often appear
improvised or slightly sketchy. However, this is one of the reasons so many people love it. Many indie
artists, such as Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, start their break into the industry busking and managing
their own gigs due to being unsigned, but later get taken on my major labels such as rough trade and
Parlophone (former Beatles record label). One of the major ideologies indie musicians and fans possess
is the idea their music isn't produced for money, it is produced for the 'love of music' or 'for the fans'.
o The indie ethos actually has quite a profound affect on the style, costume, performance and visuals of
the artists. This will be clearly displayed in the photographs and the design of my magazine. As the indie
ideology is quite relaxed and laid back, but also quite mysterious, quirky and cool. Darker colour
schemes and timeless imagery will be used to show it's indie genre. The magazine will have an obvious
look and mode of address which will tell the reader that it doesn't take it's self too seriously (just like
o Indie music is often known for it's sketchy, not too perfect guitar solos and vocals, it is about the 'love'
and 'passion' for music, not about the image such as in pop music. It is not about the fame or fortune
like in pop or rock music and the tracks do not sound 100% perfect but they sound real, not auto-tuned
or computer generated. Indie is about being an individual and creating original music, without a big
record label instructing you on what to do.
How do magazine publishers make money?
• Readership – selling the actual magazine to customers.
• Ad revenue – featuring adverts that the audience are interested in is a main way of how publishers
How are they attempting to retain audiences?
• Attractive, bold front covers
• Free gifts such as posters and MP3 downloads
• Special offers such as money off vouchers, or competitions
• Famous stars on the front cover and in the articles
• Familiar and consistent style to make the reader recognise them
• Gratifies their audience’s needs eg identification (Uses & Gratifications).
• Makes the reader feel involved by using direct address, invites the reader to write in, email them, sign a
petition and interact via social networking which makes them feel important.
• They regularly drop their price for one month only, especially at times of the year when their readers are
likely to have less money (eg in January just after Christmas).
• Regular features eg. Upcoming events, ‘hot or not’ etc.
• Product Placement in films and TV programmes and TV adverts
• New media – apps, social networking such as Twitter, Facebook
• Sell branded merchandise
What business models are used to ensure a sustained audience?
• TV channels, radio and stages at gigs are popular business models that music
magazines use to ensure a sustained audience. These three business models affect
people’s everyday lives – eg. watching TV before work/after work/after dinner/before
bed/, listening to the radio in the car and going to a particular stage when at a
festival. These features keep their audience as they are things we use constantly or
rely on, therefore developing the franchise further and keeping the audience in the
loop. This creates a personal relationship with the audience as they always feel as
though the magazine brand is there.
What are some of the magazines wider assets?
• These business models are also wider assets to the magazines:
o TV channels
o Award ceremonies
o Branded merchandise
o Annual festivals, gigs and concerts