People Magazine AnalysisThe sample magazine I chose for this assignment is People magazine, published by Time Inc., with the issue date of January 22, 2018. People magazine is an American weekly magazine that focuses on celebrity news and human-interest stories. According to the article “35 Eye Opening People Magazine Demographics”, People magazine has the largest audience in North America with over 46 million readers. The main target market for this magazine are men and women between 16-45, it is primarily directed towards women but the magazine is addressing both genders (“35 Eye Opening People Magazine Demographics”, 2016). This demographic can be determined by the articles and advertisements that the magazine presents.
Firstly, a lot of the articles are discussing up-to-date celebrity stories that would be most applicable to the older Generation Z and Generation Y, since teenagers younger than 16 and adults over 45 will most likely not relate to this stories or will not know those celebrities. In addition, the advertisements present multiple products that are directed towards women, including makeup ads by Maybelline, a tampon ad by Playtex, a chopstick ad by ChapStick, and more. We can determine that those ads are addressed towards women not just for the products they sell, but also since they only present photographs of women in those ads. Looking deeper into the demographics we can also discover that People magazine is intended mostly for people who are middle to upper class (“35 Eye Opening People Magazine Demographics”, 2016). This can be determined by the type of products advertised that vary from average to premium products quality and prices. In this magazine, around 50 out of 120 pages are dedicated to ads, in addition to some half page or smaller ads. This is around 41% of the magazine that is only presenting ads, compared to 70 pages of content, which represent 59% of the magazine.
According to the article “Masthead” posted by People.com, People magazine is a large multinational magazine that includes many workers and contributors. Those role include CEO, editor-in-chief, president, executive vice presidents, editorial manager, managing editors, editors (including style editor, staff editors, food and lifestyle editors, etc.), executive editors, visual projects director, deputy managing editor, assistant managing editors, design director, production director, art director, director of photography, various marketing roles (including events manager, events coordinator, etc.), publisher, human resource manager, advertising sales representative, correspondents, critics, writers (including staff writers, senior writers, etc.), coordinators, and more smaller of juniors and assistants. Overall, People magazine includes a staff of several hundreds people (“Masthead”, 2015). As discussed earlier, the topics that appear in the magazine are celebrity articles and human-interest stories.
For instance, the main articles in the issue are a story about a woman who found out her father was a serial killer and an article about Princess Charlotte’s first day at school. More stories include the golden globes, celebrities who are soon to have a baby, best picks for music, movies, and books, and more articles surrounding those topics. For products that are advertised, as mentioned before, we can find plenty of products directed towards women including makeup, creams, tampons, and jewelry, along with products that are unisex, such as food, gum, dog and cat food, and more. The general tone of the magazine is somewhat harsh and mean as it is gossip focused and is using paparazzi pictures of celebrities and articles that will not necessarily be favoured by the celebs featured in them. However, it is reader friendly, entertaining, somewhat informative, and easy to read. This can appeal to the target market of teenagers and young adults who are looking for something interesting and easy to read in their spare time. The magazine is using a lot of images to grab the attention of the reader and allows easier reading that is accompanied by images. Likewise, the font that is used for content is fairly small and using readable typefaces, which fits the target market that is young and more accepting to smaller type as long as it is readable and legible.
Overall, the general layout of the magazine appeals to the target market mostly through the everyday language, the use of images, the type style, and the featured articles. The magazine itself is made of a smooth coated paper for the cover, and an uncoated thin paper for the inside, it is saddle stitched. The paper type and the binding type are relatively cheap which allows the magazine to put more money into high quality inks and exclusive content. Additionally, premium paper and binding are not usually used in magazines of this type and it allows the magazine to have lower prices and appeal to a bigger audience, while gaining higher profits. One of the titles I found interesting in the masthead in editor-in-chief.
In the article “Job Description of a Magazine Editor”, Monica Stevens determines that the main goal of the editor in chief is to manage and supervise the overall magazine planning and production (Stevens, 2017). In addition, according to the article “Role of an Editor in Print Media” by Anne Hirsh, editor-in-chief or executive editor is the leader of the editorial department of a publication, and is in charge of managing the overall quality and content of the final print. Usually, this person will not perform roles related to editing, but rather will be responsible for choosing themes, coordinating production with other staff members, and managing the general tone of the magazine (Hirsh, 2017). According to “People 2017 Media Kit”, the price for a 4 color full page ad is $371,500, for cover two the price is $464,400, for cover three the price is $408,800, and for cover four it is $501,600 (“People 2017 Media Kit”, 2016).