Music Magazine Evaluation

Hannah Sowerby

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The main image on the front cover is the most dominant photo, which is a common feature of music magazine covers. The masthead on my magazine is big and bold like many other music magazines. One convention of music magazines is that the artist that dominates the front cover usually covers parts of the masthead. Suggesting that the band on the front cover are more likely to sell the magazine than the actual brand. I placed a barcode onto my magazine design to enhance the quality and make it look more professional. Most magazines place their barcodes in the top left or bottom right corner and so that is where I placed mine. Cover lines on the front also give the reader an impression of what else is contained inside the magazine. They make the page look busy and like the magazine contains a lot of information also. Freebies in a magazine are a good way of getting people to buy it and are effective at attracting an interest to the magazine. Using popular band names also helps to attract an audience. By putting them along the top of the magazine cover, they will be seen and have more of an effect. The top strips advertise things to the audience such as competitions or bands contained in the magazine. Because of the way magazines are stacked in shops, having this strip along the top means they can be seen without having to actually look at the magazine. The name of the cover band is usually put across the page in bold writing so that it stands out and attracts an audience. Underneath, it is common to have anchorage about the story inside.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The price that I would give this magazine is £2. If the magazine is cheaper, but still contains quality inside it, the magazine will pick up more readers. When thinking of magazine competitors that also involve the same music genre and comparing their prices, I wanted to make my magazine cheaper but around a similar price so that readers would be more likely to buy it. I didn·t want to make my magazine too expensive, so like Kerrang and NME, I kept the price at £2. Q magazine however is more expensive and sells for £4.50. By putting a competition on the front, it gives the impression to readers that there are exciting prizes that can be won, which will make them want to but the magazine and enter themselves. There are 2 other bands featured on the front cover. Another convention of a magazine is that there is a secondary lead somewhere else on the front cover, with a secondary headline/anchorage. This is used if the reader doesn·t like the main band that is featured, there is another one that they might like to read about. NME £2.20



In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The articles and features contained within the magazine are crucial and important. Without them, there would be no interest for viewers and no magazine to buy. I had to differentiate which part of my contents was features and which part was regulars, however I still wanted to be in keeping with my house style. To do this I placed all of the regulars on the right hand side of the contents page and put them against a black background. For the features I used a different font and placed all of the articles names on a yellow background. This way it is easy and clear for the reader to know which feature is which. By still using the house style colouring scheme, readers will recognise the yellow, black and white and relate it back to my magazine and remember where it came from. At the top of the contents page, I have written the date and page number, as well as the logo of the magazine once again. This makes sure the reader can keep up with the date and issue number they have, which is helpful also if they are a subscriber to the magazine. Quotes are used from the main story in the magazine to try and tempt people to read the article. If there is an interesting quote on the front, the reader will be more inclined to read it. A common feature of music magazine contents pages are having two different sections for regular features of the magazine and special features only included in one issue.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

The house style I chose to use was yellow, black and white and I used 2-3 fonts. You can see that throughout my magazine, the same house style is used. This is effective because the reader will recognise the colours and fonts that are put together and relate it back to my magazine. Using a house style also makes my magazine more recognisable. I have also put the name of the magazine and the ¶logo· on each page. The idea for the title of my magazine comes from the beat of music, which can often sound like a pulse. As the style of music in my magazine is different styles of rock, I created it in a heavy, black font to put across the impression that the music in this magazine is designed to be loud. To get readers interested, I have placed things throughout the contents and front cover to make them want to read more. For example, the front cover contains free posters, competitions and words such as ´exclusiveµ which make it sound special as it is only available in this issue. The contents page also uses words like this and also has quotes from articles contained inside the magazine, which, if the reader finds interesting, will make them want to read on.

How does your media product represent particular social groups? What social groups are you representing? (Audience and subjects of the magazine)
The front cover of my magazine specifies the social group that it covers. As the colour scheme is mainly yellow, black and white, it would stereotypically be aimed at men mainly but the bands on front are female which would then suggest it is for both genders, which is what I tried to do, also not only does it contain music but I added a fashion cover line, which is related more to women. The bands that are already existing that I have put on the front cover are related to the indie/rock/punk genre. When we took our photo shoot, we tried to dress people in props and alternative style clothing. Also, artists in this genre tend to be in bands rather than being solo artists, so the images on the front cover were of bands or duos.. All of the artists mentioned on the front cover are also bands. Inside the magazine, it also includes information on festivals and upcoming gigs in a local area, which people interested in this music would attend and be interested in.

What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why?
IPC Media produces over 60 iconic media brands. Their print reaches almost 26 million UK adults and their website reaches 14 million users every month. IPC·s print covers something for everyone. They focus on three key audiences; men, mass market women and up market women.

Dennis Publishing
Dennis Publishing is a web based publisher. They have up to 9 different divisions ranging from software testing to new format print products. The company publishes over 50 magazines, digital magazines, magbooks, websites, apps and mobile sites in the UK. It also has a few divisions in the US and Europe. iGizmo, the world·s first digital technology magazine was the number one download in Apple·s store. 700,000 people visit one of Dennis· websites every day. Dennis now publishes over 70 magazines, digital magazines, websites and mobile sites throughout the world.

IPC Inspire is IPC's men's section. They have over 55 brands that covers a wide selection of interests. It includes famous names from ¶Country Life· to ¶Nuts· and ¶NME·.

IPC Connect·s brands are read by 53% of all mass market women. It·s digital brands reach 2.4 million mass market women. IPC Connect includes famous women's weeklies such as ¶Chat· and ¶Now· as well as TV brands such as ¶What·s on TV· and ¶TVTimes·.

IPC Southbank is the upmarket women·s division. It includes luxury fashion brands such as ¶Marie Claire· and ¶In Style·. It also includes home interest brands such as ¶Ideal home·.

After looking at these two media institutions, I decided that IPC Media would be the best institution to distribute my magazine. This is because it caters for a wide audience and they distribute magazines for everyone. Dennis Publishing is more web based and doesn·t cater for the right kind of audience that my music magazine. For example, IPC Media distributes NME magazine, which is a lifestyle music magazine and is aimed at the similar sort of audience I want to aim my magazine at.

Who would be the audience for your media product?
The audience I have tried to aim my magazine at is male and female, 16-30 years old. Stereotypically, music magazines tend to be aimed at men and feature mainly male bands. To change this stereotype, I kept the genre of music and made some of the bands female to make sure it appealed to both genres. The artists that are featured on the front also have a slightly different genre. For example, ¶The Killers· and ¶Fall Out Boy· are both rock bands, but both fit into different sub categories, e.g: Indie Rock. Admittedly, the house style is more aimed towards men with the black and white and yellow, and the fonts can be seen as looking a bit ¶harsh·, but this is as I was trying to keep to the conventions of a music magazine such as NME or Kerrang, which you can see have similar colour palettes and fonts.

How did you attract/address your audience?
To create an impact on my readers, I used a subtle colour scheme and then added the bold yellow over the top to make sure that it stood out. To involve my audience, I tried to make the front cover exciting for them by having ´Competition Winnersµ in the corner. This then would make the audience interested if there is a chance that they could win something. Although it says ´winnersµ, meaning the competition is closed, it still gives them the chance to enter them in the future and know that there are things to be won in my magazine. I also put ´free postersµ on the cover. Freebies are a great way of attracting readers as, as soon as the word ´freeµ is seen, the customer is more likely to buy the magazine. In a way, the reader is getting more for their money. As it also says ´plus!µ It gives the impression that there is a lot of information contained in my magazine. By putting the names of popular bands at the top of the page, they will be visible when stacked on shelves in shops. The name of one band at the top of the page may be enough to attract a reader alone. If they see the name of a band they love, they are likely to buy it as they have a mention. As the bands are popular to the genre, it is likely that the names will sell the magazine.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
When creating this product I have learnt different skills and how to use different software on the computer. Firstly, I learnt how to use Photoshop and create an interesting magazine by using things such as cutting out around the image, using layers and experimenting with different colour and font palettes. I also learnt how to create and regularly use an internet blog site. Using blogger helped me to track my progress with this product and allowed me to update it with all of the work I did. It also helped with evaluating my work at the end, as all of the notes I needed were there from when I did the activity at the time. I also learnt how to use digital cameras to create professional looking photos for my magazines. I used filters and lights and also experimented with backgrounds to get the right feel for my magazine. I feel that since the Preliminary task, my music magazine looks more professional than the first one, because of the range of techniques that I learnt on Photoshop and with the digital cameras.

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