Mary at Mapping the magazine 5Earlier this year I delivered a paper at the fifth Mapping the Magazine conference at Columbia College in Chicago. And what an inspiring event it was.

Those of us presenting papers were a mix of academics and practitioners teaching at universities around the globe. Each presenter delivered insightful concepts, which addressed a few of the key challenges faced by the magazine industry today.

Not only did the presentations demonstrate an astute awareness, but many also generated some exhilarating discussions and debates. Not to mention some great networking opportunities which may lead to collaborations in the future. Continue reading


When InPublishing commissioned me to write an article on Refinery29 (UK), I have to admit I was curious. Could this American platform make the leap from stateside to a global brand?

Turns out it could.

Three years on from its 2015 UK launch Refinery29 has achieved a strong grip on the market and built a solid reputation for relevant, engaging editorial. Overall, in terms of brand reach, it has grown exponentially and now has a global audience of 550 million and more than 450 employees across its American, UK and European platforms.

But like any global brand, there has to be a sufficient differential across the platforms to capture those cultural, economic and social demographics unique to each country. This requires in-depth research, innovation plus attention to detail – get it wrong and the brand will be unlikely to survive. Continue reading


Membership article - WNIPA while ago I was asked to write an article on membership models for What’s New In Publishing. The brief was to include a case study and focus on how this business strategy might work for magazine publishers. Having written about this in my latest book, Business Strategies for Magazine Publishing, and advised a few of my clients to take this route, I had plenty of material to draw on.

While my article, When should a publisher adopt a membership model, mostly focuses on successful examples, this post will outline why the membership model is unlikely to work in the lifestyle sector. Continue reading


Photo credit: Time Inc.

Sadly, it is the end of an era – NME aka New Musical Express has finally decided to cease its weekly print edition from today after 66 years.

While the magazine spent most of those years on the newsstands, in 2015 with circulation at an all-time low of 15,000, Time Inc. decided to move NME to a freemium model – an ad-funded free title. Although pitched as a strategy to widen audience participation, essentially the rationale was to cut newsstand distribution costs and boost ad revenue.

According to the BBC’s report, publishers Time Inc. said the decision to stop its print edition is “due to rising production costs and a tough advertising market”. Instead, it will be “focusing investment on further expanding NME’s digital audience”.

While the move did indeed expand distribution to 300,000 – it seems both core and potential new readers weren’t so keen to engage. Continue reading

Coming to a Small Screen Near You…

Look around you, right now. You may be sat at your desk, slouched on the couch, or en-route to somewhere special but the chances are you’re probably ‘consuming content’ on your smart phone, tablet or some such device. And those around you are probably at it as well. On my own daily grind I very rarely see anyone struggling with a broadsheet or flicking through a red-top any longer as the only papers commuters appear to read are Metro in the morning and The Standard in the evening. The common denominator is they’re both free.


So, it’ll come as no great Usain Bolt outta the blue, that newspaper circulation is plummeting. I’m sure we’re all aware of the sad demise of The Independent earlier this year and even Dear Rupert’s managing to only flog just over a million and a half daily copies of the builders’ favourite, The Sun, from a 2010 figure of double this. The Torygraph a similar 500k from almost 700k, and The Grauniad an astronomically worrying 166,500. Astronomically worrying as I’ve always taken The Guardian. And Private Eye. Obviously. Continue reading