Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Movie Magazines

Movie and entertainment magazines are fairly commonly seen on the magazine racks. As one of the more common genres, it’s not surprising that there are “free” movie magazines commonly available out there. One that can be found easily in Canadian Cineplex theatres is Famous magazine. Famous also has a version for children, called Famous Kids . It’s free and available in theatres, as well as being available for download on the Cineplex website.

The magazine is also interactive, in that it publishes the opinions of readers every month in a segment called “Famous Last Words.” I was published in this segment once, in fact, in the December 2008 issue. I see publishing this magazine as being a good marketing move for Cineplex, since it offers another draw to the theatre. It’s almost a reward for going to a movie at a Cineplex theatre—you get a free magazine to read before the show starts if you choose to pick it up. Plus it serves as a way for Cineplex to make money, by selling advertising in the magazine.

I’m interested by the move to online content with magazines. Like newspapers, magazines have to keep up with the times, and offer online content, such as breaking news stories, videos, pictures, online only features, etcetera. While Survivor is airing, I visit Entertainment Weekly’s website every week to read Jeff Probst’s Survivor blogs. This is an online only feature, and it draws me to the website, and while I’m there, I’ll read other articles that catch my eye. I rarely, if ever, read Entertainment Weekly in print form, but I’m often at the website. I think in many ways, online readership is just as important as print readership, perhaps even more important. Entertainment Weekly must be making money off of its website, since it has such a complete website, with a ton of content. I’m thinking that the advertisements on the page help generate that revenue.

I am, perhaps, old fashioned enough that I don’t want to see the death of print magazine or even print newspapers. But I do believe, that in order to keep on competing with blogs, Twitter, and news websites, magazines MUST maintain some online content. I do think it is easier for magazines to generate web content than it is for newspapers, as many newspapers are local—meaning they reach a smaller demographic. Magazines are often national, or even international, making readership that much larger. Most magazine websites have “web only” content, but they also have “print only” content, which encourages readers to not only buy the magazine, but to visit the website. Newspapers should be following this example. Create a print version, but also create web only content, that is paid for with the help of advertising. Put the print only content up on the website…but have the reader log in using their subscription information, or charge people a web subscription. I am aware that the Winnipeg Free Press does have a subscription only portions, and an online version of the newspaper that you can subscribe to, which is a step in the right direction. However, progress can be slow, and I do believe magazines have been way ahead in the online game, and for that, I commend them.


  1. Very interesting discussion - one we had today when talking about the magazine project: the acid test for a good magazine these days is if it can answer the question, "Why will I buy this magazine instead of getting the information online?"

  2. I agree. If it can easily be found online, then there's really no point in putting it in print anymore. And even if you do put it in print, it really should be supplemented by online content, and even subscriber discussion online.