The main theme in such magazines was finding and keeping a man. This began to change in the 60s and 70s. With the introduction of contraception women were suddenly able to plan their lives and fit in a career. They now had less time available for the home. So magazines had to change to fit in with the new lifestyles and alter the advice they were giving. The first magazine to do this was Cosmopolitan, which was founded in 1972. It reflected how women didnt necessarily want to be housewives but had ambitions of their own.
Nowadays the themes in magazines are generally success, getting a man, sex, being independent, being happy, career, self help, being a working wife, heart versus head and retaining youth. The magazines are very feminine and tell women how to think, what to do, what to do with men, what to do with children, with their neighbours and their bosses, what to eat, what to buy, what to wear, how to act. Women are encouraged to try and become superwomen. It is also helpful for magazines to be controversial; usually involving sex. Company was once banned for a month but after that sales increased by i??
18 000 per month in six months. A similar stunt was later pulled by Marie Claire but less extravagant. There are now also magazines for pretty much every stage in a womans life. As a woman goes through each phase, like marriage or pregnancy, there will a magazine to supply her with advice on the issues that she is facing. This shows a diversification of the market. Company began when a gap in the market was noticed for a younger target audience than that of Cosmopolitan, which is aimed at women aged 23-29. Company aimed for a target audience of age 18-26.
Magazines started to look for small, niche markets. Red was launched in 1998 for women at about the age of thirty who possibly had partners or were married, who possibly had children, who had career interests but also interests in the house and garden. Women with responsibility who still wanted to have fun. This was criticised for having too small a market but as it is still going today it appears to have been successful. In 1998 womens magazines grew by 4%, the most popular being Cosmopolitan with 500,000 sales per month. Womens magazine sales have increased by over a third in ten years.
Because technology has improved and is cheaper the magazine improves with it. Market research is also more easily accessible. ABC provides readership profiles and figures so there is a clear profile for each magazine. This makes what the audience wants clearer and easier to provide for. Other magazines available for women are the gossip, weekly magazines like Bella and Best. These originated in Germany but were brought to this country, in 1987, when a gap in the market was spotted. They contain real life dramas, recipes, competitions and puzzles.
These have changed since they first started as they didnt want long stories but that is no longer the case although a lot of the real life stories are quite short. Some of these dont feature celebrities as they focus more on real people. Chequebook journalism is frequently used to get stories. Adverts appear at the end of real life stories offering money if the readers send in a story, more if they allow their photograph to be printed. These magazines go to the reader rather than letting the reader come to them. They are popular because they are cheap and allow the reader to drift off into other peoples problems.
Magazines such as Woman and Womans Own are more career orientated but are still in the same group. Teenage girls magazines are very similar to womens magazines with similar front covers and content. There has been a change in the content since magazines such as Jackie which specialised in boys and romance. Information on sex or jobs would never be featured. Newer magazines such as Sugar, Bliss and J17 now contain more modern subjects such as pop music, fashion, television, health, beauty, style, problems, real-life stories, self-improvement and information on drugs, stars, food etc.
Independence and strong-mindedness is encouraged along with equality. Visuals and slang are widely used, as for teenagers; its the image that is important. Pop also dominates the magazines and can be seen throughout, using icons as fashion models, to answer problems etc. Of course its not only women who have magazines. They are also widely available for men too, although, they never used to be. Up until the late 80s it was assumed that men did not want magazines. It was realised that not all men wanted to read porn.
Before then the only decent magazines were special interest like Autocar and Which Hi Fi and other hobby magazines. Women were told how to be women but it was assumed that men already knew how to be men. GQ and Arena appeared and featured educated men, successful role models and fashion. But these were too elitist so then came Loaded, which was like a backlash. The market was diversifying and extensive market research was being conducted. Next came Maxim and Mens Health with a similar format containing topics such as women, fashion, cars, gadgets, music, television, computers, alcohol and reports on real life stories.
These were very popular and the elitist magazines who once said that theyd never show female flesh on the cover were forced to change or dumb down. Most recently Front has been launched which is aiming for a younger audience with even more hardcore content. In 1997 FHM and Loaded were experiencing record. In 1998 mens magazines grew by 6% with FHM being the most popular monthly magazine with around 750,500 sales per month. Now Mens Health is moving away from the laddish image. The change in magazines has also changed other media such as the Internet. Magazines have started building their own websites and in 1999 OK!
launched its own television program on ITV. Magazines such as Hello and OK! have began to get exclusives on celebrity occasions, banning the tabloids from covering them. In 1999 Hello paid i?? 400,000 for an exclusive of James Major and Emma Nobles wedding. In the same year OK! bought an exclusive of Victoria Addams and David Beckhams wedding. As well as men and womens magazines there are also special interest magazines dedicated to every fad going. From television-Take a Break, to computers-Official Playstation, to minority magazines-Diva, to music-Muzik, to tabloid types-Now, to decorating-House Beautiful.
Magazines can now be produced much more cheaply because of new technology so these magazines are now easier to produce. So it is easier to start up a magazine to supply the latest fad. Computer and Internet magazines are extremely popular so there are a lot of them about as there are clubbing magazines to coincide with the fad of the so-called superclubs. Advertisers like specific magazines as they know what type of audience they will be reaching and as there are so many magazines they can afford to go where is best for them so these magazines are likely to be successful as they have the support of advertisers.
Very controversial magazines do not have this luxury, as advertisers dont like their products to be associated with such publications. Magazines have grown and developed so much in the last fifty years that where is there to go now? Will even smaller niche markets be targeted? Sales are likely to continue to rise and possibly the introduction of new men and womens magazines will increase.