My Magazine is called “AMP” it’s a monthly music magazine aimed at both male and females ages 15-30, featuring Indie/Rock music.
In what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
In order for my product to relate to real media products, I followed the conventions from magazines, which I researched like Q and NME. For my magazine front cover, I took the idea of my title from Q as their title is also placed on a square block of colour, situated in the top left corner. Also I overlapped the title with the model slightly which NME and Q do regularly. I used a stereotypically attractive female model. I also used a hook bar on the bottom of my magazine, to promote a competition, to attract readers; Q, Mojo and NME are known to do this also. For my contents page I found a picture of an example on Google. I have posted the picture on my blog; I took the idea of the contents writing being on an angle, from that example. However I have kept my article page very simple, by putting my writing into columns, and situating my model to the right hand side of the article. I decided to crop the picture, as it was too large. I challenged the convention of real media products for example, Q and NME, by using a model for my front cover, as she is not directly looking into the camera, but it is a headshot image, which can be very effective. My model, is wearing black and grey clothing, which can tie within indie/rock genre targeting men and woman from the ages 15-30, which this magazine is. In most magazines I researched all models were looking directly into the camera and they were either full body shots or medium shot, for example NME uses a lot of body shots of bands on their front cover.
How does your media product represent social groups?
My product represents both male and female social groups of middle working class backgrounds. Including stories, which both sexes can relate to and connect to. Also it has real life stories about drug addicts changing their lives around. So my magazine could give a sense of hope to all readers if they have suffered the same problems or know someone who has in the past. My magazine represents people who do not follow the crowd, and like to be classed as an individual. Therefore people buying my magazine can feel this, as the genre is not the most popular in our society. My magazine tries to portray the social group in a positive light, and to prove not all fans of Rock music are drug-taking rebels, as the media likes to portray Rock fans. The story featuring in my magazine could be an inspiration to many readers. There is a page in my magazine, which is called “21 celebrity top fashion tips this month”. I think this page would be more aimed at younger women (15-25), because a lot of young women are inspired by celebrities and what they wear.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
My media product is different and unique in its on ways. I think it could possible have as much success as Q and NME. Bauer is the largest private magazine distributor in Europe. However I think my product would do well with Bauer because most of their magazines are woman’s E.g. Take a break, or television magazines. Because my audience is going to be music fans who are interested in Indie/Rock genre, and Bauer does not distribute many music magazines. Therefore I think there is a gap in the market for my magazine that will bring Bauer Profit and also great success for my product.
What would be the audience for your media product?
The audience for my product would be both male and female, but those who have a great interest in music, especially Indie/Rock. My product is aimed at the ages 15-30. I think this is a good age range to aim my product at because the price should be affordable to everyone. My price is £2.99 monthly which I think is a reasonable price and also cheaper than Q magazine which charges £3.90 monthly. However NME charges £2.10 which is cheaper than my magazine, but NME is weekly.
Average age reading magazine – 23
64% - Male readers
36%- female readers
Mostly spend their money on – Music festivals and gigs, nights out, clothes and music downloads.
How did you attract/address your audience?
In order to attract/address my audience I analyzed existing products such as Q and NME. I also carried out a questionnaire, so I could target the needs of my potential readers. For example, the story hooks on the cover and contents page are in direct response to this.
However I did not use any colloquial language, although it would’ve made it easier for my audience to relate to my magazine. The questions I asked in my questionnaire were about the price of the magazine, colour themes, music genre etc. I based my product on the results of the questionnaire, as I believe it is important for my product to give the reader what they want and to interest them.
Because of my article I think it will make the readers feel a sense of hope, and that anything is possible. I used a lot of “hooks” on my front cover to draw the reader into the magazine. I tried to use as many sharp effective hooks as possible. I also used a hook quotation on my article page, by taking a line of speech out of the article itself, and making it look more effective, so the reader wants to know more, to attract the reader. According to the results of my questionnaire, readers would prefer to see a well-known band or singer on the front cover instead of an attractive model. So I took their opinions into consideration, and decided to use the Lucy Jones story and how she made it to fame, and how she coped with her past. Lucy Jones is a successful new artist to currently enter the charts. I thought this would be necessary because it’s promoting the article which features in the magazine.
I used an attractive model, however many female models are being portrayed in the media as negative role models. Although Naomi Wolf, has tried to point out that both men and women are equal and that it is unfair to women to be known as sex objects, and men to be known as success objects, she also points out that images of attractive women are used to sell products to women because they have been conditioned by society to want to look like the model. On the front cover I have taken advantage of this. I also used a musical term for my title, as it has connotations of electric guitars and rock. I also used a lot of colour to attract my audience, as colour is what catches the eye when looking at a front cover of a magazine. I used colours with connotations, Such as black to represent the Indie/Rock feeling of the magazine.
Results from my questionnaire, show that people would much rather buy a magazine with a free gift inside than a magazine without one. So I used a promotion line on my front cover, to also attract more readers. Because readers can participate by entering the competition, it gives them a sense of ownership.
On my contents page I used sharp hook quotes, not revealing much at all. This will make the reader hopefully want to read the story or interview etc. For example “pg. 2 Hayley Williams reveals all”. This hook, states that Hayley Williams reveals all, but the reader will have to go to page 2, to find out exactly what she reveals. I also used a model, and situated the image next to this hook, to represent Hayley Williams herself.
The pose of the cover image is meant to show the reader to be proud of what music they listen to and love. Because the model is looking directly into the camera, there shows no hesitation, as there is no hesitation when listening to a song, you either love it or hate it.
When my product was finished I showed it to a group of people, to get their opinions of the magazine. They were all very impressed by it and how it was very eye-catching. They thought the price was also reasonable, and that if it were a magazine being published today, they would buy it. I took advantage of uses and gratifications because people interested in the genre will buy the magazine for a sense of identity and to find out about the artists my magazine features.
What have you learnt about new technologies from the process of creating this product?
I have learnt a lot about new technologies during the process of creating my product. I learnt how to use a digital camera and tripod .I learnt how to create layers, for every time I added new things to my product. I learned how to manipulate images and saturate the colour of the skin and resize the image. These are some examples of manipulating images:
Original Image Manipulated Image
I used the “Magic wand tool” this cuts out the background of an image just
leaving the person, or the focused object. The magic wand tool cuts out the background carefully and accurately; it cuts around the outline of the main image, destroying all things in the background. I also learnt that I could change the tolerance in order to cut out more neatly. When I had used the magic wand tool, I went round with the rubber to smooth the edges, and also tried using the blur tool and sharpening tool to make the image look more professional. You can clearly see that I have manipulated images in my product.
I also learnt how to create effects on my “hooks” by double clicking on the layers; I can drop shadows, use an inner glow on the writing etc. I had to do this on all of my “hooks” because the writing was not very readable being based on the black background.
During the process I also learnt how to combine words and images on my blog and publish my work on the Internet to an international audience. I switched from media consumer to media producer. When doing practical work, I learnt how to use a digital camera and tripod.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
During the progress from my preliminary task to the finished product, I have learnt a lot, of what is important in a magazine, and my product needs to be up to all standards in order to do well in the magazine publishing world. I learnt about the needs of the readers and convention of the existing products by researching several magazines and creating a questionnaire. The importance of researching my audience is so that I can target them effectively. Researching magazines helped me to recognize how to structure my product, for it to look professional.
My skills developed rapidly on Photoshop, as I was new to it. The use of digital imaging software made me become more confident. I learnt all the basics on Photoshop, for example, creating new layers and I learnt how to manipulate images, in order for them to attract the readers. Magazine research helped me learn that colour connotations and the choice of language are very important for my product, but also the type of content and features of layout and language. The understanding that both technological skills and careful research are vital to create a magazine to compete in the market place, next to the likes of Q and NME, as apposed to my preliminary project that was aimed at a small local audience and had no competition.