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glossy mag vs. newsprint tab

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by txsportsscribe, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    i've gotten involved with a startup targeted-market monthly publication and would appreciate some opinions. i have been leaning toward a newsprint tab format (even though the publication will have a more magazine feel to it) but some are pushing for glossy magazine. i know the glossy mag would command much higher ad prices and have a nicer look to it but i think the ads would be easier to sell at the newsprint price. we're looking at an initial press run of 25,000 to 50,000. of course the printing cost of glossy would be way more.

    any feelings on the pros and cons of newsprint tab vs. glossy mag?
  2. doodah

    doodah Guest

    I'd do half and half to start out, with half of it newsprint and half glossy mag and let the readers chime in on which they preferred.
  3. He is...safe!

    He is...safe! Member

    Our weekly did a glossy mag, kind of a visitor guide to the county and it sold really well. Think we only ran 10 or 15,000 but our ad folks sold it as
    something people will be more apt to keep around the coffee table, hotel room' type thing.

    Second year was a bit easier to sell since we actually had the product to show them.
  4. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Speaking as someone in the magazine industry: Glossy is more durable, has longer coffee-table life, a better pass-along rate and better sell-through on the newsstands. Do whatever you can to support revenue.
  5. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    We do two glossy mags four times a year. One targeted to women, the other to seniors 50 and older. I'm not so sure that the income from the higher prices we can charge for the ads cancels out the fact that we have to outsource the printing and that they're circulated for free.
  6. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    btw, this will be a stand-alone publication, not an insert in the paper - if that matters. i've seen the mags with a glossy cover and newsprint inside and it just seems a little cheap to me. and i've heard mag ad sales people say the glossy mags do a better job of catching a reader's eye because of the look and the color but is the payoff really that great when the advertiser is paying 10 times the cost of a newsprint ad? personally, i'm just as apt to notice and ad in the newspaper as i am one in a magazine. and with the economy still in at least a mild funk, wouldn't advertisers look for the more economical ad buy?
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Not necessarily. Advertisers want bang for the buck, and glossy's gonna do that because it will have a much longer shelf life.
  8. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    Ours stand alone as well. I also found out that they're distributed outside our usual circulation area. But in most places, they're going to be in the same rack where they put shoppers and real estate mags, so I don't know how many people actually stop and look at them.
  9. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    All I know is that while newspaper subscriptions are sinking like the Titanic, magazine subscriptions and revenue appear to be rather steady.
  10. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Playthrough got it right. With a magazine, advertisers are willing to pay premium prices to be in a long-term "environment" ... unlike newspapers, where advertisers are seeking exposure to a different kind of audience, with the understanding that the paper gets tossed tomorrow. So for the benefit of advertisers, don't go cheap ... and month-old newsprint looks cheap. The investment in the physical product will pay off.

    If glossy is just too cost-prohibitive, consider printing your entire magazine on heavier stock paper, such as 32-pound bright, instead of newsprint.

    (And be sure you print the entire magazine that way. Depending how your press is configured, if you go with a heavy cover and newsprint inside, your might end up stuck with your centerspread in heavy stock too. And that just looks odd. About 15 years ago, I published a weekly magazine for a major Florida metro daily, and we were given the option of a heavy high white cover, but what they didn't tell us was that the doubletruck had to print on heavy stock, too, because of the way the pages are fed. We ended that experiment after a month ... it was that bad.)
  11. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    My wife used to work for a city mag that published a quarterly visitor's guide and they were in hotel rooms all over town. Very, very popular with advertisers.
  12. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    initial price of printing a glossy mag vs. newsprint tab isn't a concern because i'd be willing to spend the money for the best product. i guess because i've always been in newspapers, i just don't understand why the advertisers would pay much higher prices. but i'm now starting to see the reasoning from some of the comments. i may be changing my direction to a glossy magazine. thanks for the input and feel free to educate me some more.
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