Magazines are a part of our everyday lives. Magazines are collected, preserved, and shared among friends, families, and acquaintances. For many people, they are an important and indispensable tool for information, entertainment, and self-expression. Magazines can tell us about current events, entertainment, the latest trends, sports events, beauty trends, and even celebrity gossip.
To truly understand the extent of this magazine industry, it’s important to first define the term” Magazine.” And although the literal translation of the term” Magazine” might just be “a magazine store,” many modern technologies always challenge the boundaries of what people typically think of when they hear the term” Magazine.” In addition, many magazines are actually produced as online publications and distributed by electronic means. The production department of a magazine is as diverse and involved as any other department in any other business – but the magazine business is particularly interesting because of the many ways that magazines are produced, distributed, and read.
The magazine production process begins with choosing the topic of a magazine. Magazine topics are endless, ranging from new inventions and technological innovations, to beauty trends, to political and social issues. Once a magazine topic has been decided, a magazine writer and illustrator are choosing to create content around that topic.
After determining the general topic, a writer and illustrator are assigning to begin creating content. Many magazines today utilize a combination of letter and illustration writing in addition to written content to produce magazines. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, many magazines relied almost entirely on illustrations to attract readers. Although magazine advertising was once centered around product advertising, in the later twentieth century magazine advertising began to focus more on the entertainment and beauty market.
Even though magazine advertising in the later twentieth century has largely disappeared, magazines are still produced and circulated widely. Numerous small magazines are distributed locally, and larger magazines are published by larger publishing companies. Smaller publishing companies focus on a specific type of magazine – such as women’s magazines, children’s magazines, Christian magazines, or food magazines – while larger publishing companies will distribute magazines of any type. Many consumer magazines also have become monthly magazines and are published weekly.
In most cases, consumer magazines are self-published products that are distributed via a magazine subscription. In other cases, the publisher has chosen to develop and market the product independently. Regardless, most consumer magazines are published by newspapers or other media. The circulation department of any newspaper is busy with countless tasks including purchasing newsprint and other publications, making sure that all the issues are presented properly, and preparing indexes and table of contents for each issue. There are very few editors who have the time to go through every issue of every magazine that is purchased for publication.
Advertising is necessary for the survival of any publishing company, and in almost every case, consumer magazines are sold for a minimal cost, with a profit made on the back end by the publication company. Because of this advertising necessity, a large variety of advertisements is present in many magazines. In addition to standard advertisements, magazines may be sold with “preview” articles, inside advertisements, byline ads, and catalogs. Many magazines also have charity sponsorships, providing free advertising for certain causes or organizations.
Magazines can be targeted to a specific audience by the publication company. For example, a women’s magazine may be aimed at a specific group of women, or may cater to a particular profession, lifestyle, or economic bracket. This targeting of magazines allows advertisers to reach their target audience more directly, often earning a greater return on investment. In addition to magazine targeted advertisements, many magazines provide an affiliation with other advertisers, offering the possibility of additional advertising revenue. The combination of strong marketing, and substantial exposure to the target audience, have made the magazine industry one of the largest industries in the United States.