MEDIA: MEDIA WATCH; celebrity titles

With the recent launch of two new titles in the celebrity-led women’s magazine market, the battle for up-market female readership - and up- market advertising revenue - is hotting up.

With the recent launch of two new titles in the celebrity-led women’s

magazine market, the battle for up-market female readership - and up-

market advertising revenue - is hotting up.



The first magazine to set the trend for celebrity titles, Hello!, is

still market leader, outselling the other titles and managing to

maintain a premium cover price.



Its nearest rival, OK! magazine, started life as a monthly but went

weekly in March this year to compete more effectively for weekly

advertising revenue.



The newest titles, Gruner & Jahr’s Here! and IPC’s Now, are priced at

the lower end of the market on a par with other women’s weeklies, such

as Best and Woman’s Own.



IPC says it launched Now to bridge the planning gap between weeklies and

monthlies. Celebrity magazines offer the glossy environment of monthlies

but build a weekly reach.



Hello! estimates that advertising revenue in celebrity titles is worth

pounds 10m, of which it says it takes around 80%, with the remainder

shared between the other three players.



More than half of Hello!’s advertisers are from major cosmetics and

fragrance houses, such as Lanc™me, Guerlain and Estee Lauder. Other

advertisers come from the travel and motoring sectors and from the

entertainment industry.



Here! and Now hope to attract similar advertisers but media buyers are

sceptical.



Cate Politi, media account director at Mediapolis, says: ‘These

magazines are launching to take advantage of the up-market advertising

revenue from Hello! and OK!. This will be difficult due to the quality

of the new magazines which are more mid-market in appeal.’



------------------------------------------------------------------------

MEDIA: Celebrity figures

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title     Circulation, ABC Jan-June    Readership, NRS    Price

Hello!     480,979                     2,278,000          pounds 1.35

OK!        110,116                       685,000*         pounds 1.20

Here!      450,000**                       n/a                     55p

Now        370,000**                       n/a                     60p

Source: Mediapolis     *Monthly figure **Publisher’s statement

------------------------------------------------------------------------



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