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How did you attract /address your audience?

The demographic target audience to my music magazine; ‘IndiePendent’
are a niche audience of the indie folk and rock scene. The age range
I wanted to aim my magazine was between the ages of late teens and
up to thirty-five.
I made my magazine be independently published because even though
they would lack in resources and pull in small audiences, the small
audiences would be loyal and constant as I am aiming to feed them
the specific content that they want which cannot be fulfilled with
major publishing magazines.
However, in order to attract them and make them my audience in the
beginning would mean constructing my music magazine in the formulaic
layout an indie magazine would typically be so that the mode of
address of my magazine would instantly be recognised as an indie
magazine. For example, this would include the colour scheme, the
typography, the models and the use of language register. All things
in which my magazine entails would be expressed through the mode of
address.
The colour scheme I decided should be mature colours such as brown,
orange, black and white from the influence of some indie folk/rock
album covers. Brown colours with album covers are representative to
antique things such as Vinyl players and Polaroid prints.

The typography varies as I used fonts that are mature and formal
looking such as my title.
However, I did use a more bold
and stern looking font for my front
cover band.
Choosing these fonts would
hopefully appeal to my audience
as old and antique looking fonts
would normally attract this
particular niche demographic.

By putting three young males on the front cover of my magazine will
hopefully appeal to my audience simply because they are at the most

relatable towards the target age range. The fact that they are young
can be seen to represent the fact that they are offering new and
exciting music to the indie folk/rock scene. However, putting three
young men as the models for my front cover band, ‘Dog Eats Dog’ can
be interpreted in a different way… such as how they would appeal to
both genders of my audience. For instance, girls would be attracted
to young men purely for the fact that they are young, the opposite
sex and are in a band. Boys on the other hand would be appealed
because this band is living the life they would want to live. This
band would have lots of money by doing the thing that they love the
most and boys would look up to any male influence who got to do so.
Though this interpretation can be argued by saying that not all
girls who will read my magazine will be attracted because of the

boys and maybe the boys don’t want to be influenced by the band.
Either way, the models are a big part of attracting an audience to
read my magazine.

The language register that I have used is casual and laid back.
Unlike pop magazines there is no slang or abbreviations used though
it is still informal. Using this particular language register is
appealing to my target audience as it is how they talk normally in
school to their friends and at home to their family. By using this
language register, my audience will feel a part of something with
the sense of social belonging, feeling like I have made my magazine
for them which is a good thing as they will be loyal and continue
wanting the need to feel belonged by reading my next issue and the
issue after that.
This links in with the Uses + Gratifications theory, a theory
founded by Katz in 1959. This theory suggests that audience members
are not passive when consuming mass media and that we obtain an
active role by choosing different types of media for us to interpret
and integrate into our own lives making media fulfil some of our
wants and needs on specific gratifications. The theory suggests that
media has to fulfil the following needs:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Personal Identification
Social Interaction
Information
Entertainment

Music is a good example of Uses + gratification as people listen to
certain music from their personal music selection falling under the
gratification of personal identification. We choose music to listen
to making it fit the mood we are currently in or to socially
interact with others.
Music magazines learn to follow this theory as it is a good way to
attract audiences to continue reading more. My music magazine is one
of the many followers of this theory as it is the most successful
basis, constructing my magazine to have all four of those
gratifications. My audience will have personal identification from
the use of language register and my models. For example, my only
female model will have the most personal identity with most of my
female audiences as she is seen to be the stronger woman competing
in a male dominated industry. There is social interaction displayed
in my music magazine through the use of promoting synergy with my
website link being printed on every single page of my magazine
including the Front Cover. This would be one of the many ways to
approach a fragmented audience for them to feed more of my magazine
content and exchange thoughts and ideas on the comments page.
Another way I used social interaction was with the use of having a
subscriptions page, fan mail page and a double page spread purely
done for articles written and illustrated by my readers about the
genre of this music magazine. This would also link in the rest of
the gratifications as they would feel socially belonged in the world
of music, the bridge from reality to music being my magazine
allowing readers to have a say also.
The double page spread is the perfect
opportunity to give away interesting
information about the musicians and their
daily life which could also be entertaining
to my readers too. For my double page spread
story I decided to make it big and sad, talking about a made up
musician, Miles Ryan, in a band called ‘Folly & Moore’-a band of
twins, committing suicide after long years of hardship and success.
As the indie folk/rock genre of music is known for their songs to be
raw with honesty and dignity, I feel that even the feature story
headline and caption of the double page spread will draw my target
audience in.
Contrasting with the seriousness of my music magazine I feel like I
do fulfil the gratification of entertainment not only with the
feature stories but also with the ‘Every Month’ section of my music
magazine by putting in a ‘Spot The Difference’ game and a ‘Rules Of
Life’ article.
Another way of attracting my audience and appealing to their needs
would be to follow the theory; Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
suggesting that our magazines are selling dreams and using the
models as aspirational figures for our audiences to look up to.
The American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, came up with the theory
of the Hierarchy of needs in 1943. This theory suggests that there
are five stages in life that we all go through and at each stage we

have different motivations.
Stage One: Self Realisation.
Stage Two: Esteem.
Stage Three: Belonging.
Stage Four: Safety.
Stage Five: Psychological.
Applying this theory to media means that we can learn to understand
our target audience and what they want from our magazines. The
extent to which synergy has become a part of society has made social
media apps become a part of the pyramid in Maslow’s theory. With
self-realisation the social media apps that can be used by this are
ones such as Tumblr where the audience writes down what they know of
a particular subject sharing knowledge. This can be used in my
magazine for the content of the feature stories, the gigs and tours
section, up and coming bands, and how there are fan articles in
which I have included into my magazine. People needing the sense of
love and belonging comes into Facebook where they can find their
family and friends and contact them. However with my magazine, the
sense of belonging should be shown and felt throughout out my
constructed pages as this magazine is made for the audience, it’s
made for music lovers of the indie folk/rock scene to read about new
and old bands and their life story or their latest music. The
language register is the same as how my audience would normally
speak so it could appeal to them. The fan articles are put in so the
audience can read about other members of their musical community. I
want my audience to feel a part of something big by being fans of
this particular genre of music and in order to do that I needed to
construct my magazine in a way in which the audience feel attracted
enough to read it.
The models would be seen as the aspirational figures that the
audience looks up to and wants to follow in their footsteps. So
making my models look as similar to my audience with style is one
way to meet the audience dreams and expectations because the models
will resemble the audience. So styling my models in the kind of
outfits my niche audience would wear such as a brown shirt and
jeans, will not only convey the genre of music but will represent
the readers. The majority of my readers either highly respect my
bands or wish to be them.
My models are all looking at the camera lens in all but two
pictures, directing the audience in the mode of address. When models
in any media whether it be film or magazines, when the model
directly addresses the audience it is in a serious manor with a sort
of threatening or sexual approach. However, I made my models
contrast with that approach and wanted them to look at the camera
lens but approach in a non-threatening way but in a very light
hearted way. Especially with the front cover making my models lift
one of them up in a very
comical way showing how
non-serious and laid back
they are creating an

appealing address to my
audience. Though to make
sure my audience knows
this magazine is still
purely about the music
and not the gossip, I made
my models look at the
camera but with no expressions on their faces. With my only female
model, I made her look directly in to the camera lens but not wear
any make up to show that she is against the male gaze and that she
is representing women in a male dominated genre of music. The fact
that she isn’t wearing any makeup is the decision I made to show my
audience that this she is exposed in a way that doesn’t leave her
violated but comfortable. I did this with my male models also and
made sure I stayed away from air brushing and hyper imagery. I think
my female audiences will like this idea of the woman being the
representing female artists as it is another community all by its
self that girls feel a part of.
With institutional aspects of attracting my audience I have to think
about the point of sale. For example, most magazines that are bought
are the ones that major publishers pay shop owners to put their
magazines in a position on the shelves that are at eye level. I have
to make a decision to whether or not I want to pay major publishes
to fund my magazine to be put at the front of the stack on the
shelves at shops which I have decided I didn’t want to as that goes
against the independent style. My readers will be of a niche
audience so they will have to come into the shop looking for my
magazine which is bad because it means that they would have to know
about the magazine beforehand. Major magazine publisher have the
money and the power to even get new magazine’s first issues to be
displayed in a glass cabinet in a shop to promote the magazine
before it is sold in order to get audiences drawn in before they
even read it. I don’t have the money or the resources to do that
leaving me at a disadvantage in the field of promoting my music
magazine.
This links entirely with Marx’s theory of power and control and
suggests that; “Power resides with the few who have ownership and
control of the means of production and distribution.” Meaning that
major publishes have the opportunity to buy their selves a good
advantage in the selling point for their magazines.
However, indie music magazine could possibly sell or give away free
first issues at indie music festivals as a way to attract their
audience. This would be a very tactical way to approach my audience
as indie music festivals are the hot spot area my target demographic
would hang around in for me to give them a little taster of what
could be a monthly read for them. And if one person likes it, they
could be the opinion leader and spread my magazine to others through
word and mouth which will attract more members to my target
audience.