The press is in jeopardy. Impossible to ignore such a statement, which is all over... the press.
Is all the press in trouble? Of course not!
The magazine market, which has always been very strong in France, seems to remain healthy and creative. All in all, if we take every press segment into account (free and paid), more than 700 new titles were launched in France in 2009 - mostly magazines (Source: Base MM). According to our data (which seems to correspond to most of the observations by Presstalis), some segments are doing well, even very well: women's, history, culture, transportation, nostalgia, comics and mangas, cooking and gastronomy, arts and crafts, educative...
The most recent good surprise comes from the women's segment with the launch of three weeklies.
- Grazia (August 2009, Saturday, 1 /1.50 €), French adaptation of a European magazine published by Mondadori: 187,000 copies sold (OJD, French ABC).
- Be (March 2010, Friday, 1.50 €) published by Lagardère: 220,350 copies sold for the first four issues, 36 ad pages per issue (source: Lagardère). Sold with Elle at a promotional price (2.50 €) instead of 3.50 €
- Envy (February 2010, Thursday, 1.70 €) published by Marie Claire Group. 240,000 copies sold (OJD/ABC).
- But there is a major failure: Femmes (Prisma / Grüner und Jahr) dedicated to women and luxury, launched in May 2008, did not make it (80,000 copies / OJD) and is currently closing 2 years after.
But in comparison with older magazines which became digital only at maturity (Elle, Marie-Claire, Biba, Femme Actuelle, etc.), these three new magazines are born with a double life, paper in the newsstand, digital on the net.
They all have a website, a page on Facebook, on Twitter, an iPhone app, blogs, newsletters, etc. They also have their own online boutique (catalog, coupons). They all want to "engage" the reader, build communities, fan clubs. They each propose video, audio, ("song of the day"), etc. At this point of their life cycle they use catch-all marketing and testing. Waiting to see what will succeed. Nobody knows. Full-scale testing, live. Even the pricing is being tested.
What will be done with the data collected, on-line and off-line? What kind of behavioral targeting, of retargeting? Lots of research is necessary to take advantage of this double flow of data. What will be done with so many words, all these women's words? A researcher's dream!
Talking about words, it is surprising to notice the number of English expressions (now generation, Be/bees, gossip, Be on air, etc.), how does this use of English work with search engine optimization?
Is this really the way women talk? Or is it just French journalese?