“Mine: My Magazine, My Way”–Media Takes Another Turn Toward the Specialized

I just got my first issue of “Mine” magazine today and I’m really excited! No, it’s not a new publication about being possessive or consumerist or anything—it’s actually a “sampler” of about eight magazines that I chose (this issue: Real Simple, Food & Wine, InStyle, Money, Time, Travel + Leisure and a mistakenly thrown in Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine). Instead of having to purchase and page through these publications individually, I can now get a little taste of each one with about three articles per magazine.

Just like the thousands of individual special interest blogging communities popping up everywhere, this is just another example of how media is tailoring a tighter fit to their most loyal followers, specializing and fragmenting audiences into smaller and smaller subgroups. Of course, general interest mediums like the already suffering newspaper industry would argue against this growing trend, but boundless opportunities exist for specialty magazines, topic blogs and other very content-focused mediums. However much it may take away from traditional advertising practices and journalistic work ethics, I can’t help thinking as a consumer chasing more information about a broad range of topics in less time that “Mine Magazine” is a great idea. That may be what media is all about soon, as the audience directs the force and scope of specialization and fragmentation.

The weirdest part, though, is probably the same exact reason why this idea will fly with these publications’ individual advertisers: the whole thing is brought to you by Lexus. There are no other ads shown in the magazine, so Lexus basically sponsors the whole publication and achieves the same effect as placing individual ads in each magazine for probably half the cost. It’s a win-win for the type of advertising that can afford these individual nationally distributed publications, anyway. On a smaller scale, this probably would push smaller businesses out of the running in an unfair way, but for now, at this stretch in media’s development, I’m not complaining!