Bauer Media Group USA is going niche — super niche — with its newest magazine launch.
The publisher of Closer, InTouch and Woman’s World, is targeting business-minded girls between eight and 15 years old for its quarterly magazine dubbed “Teen Boss.”
The pitch for Teen Boss is likened to a magazine version of ABC’s “Shark Tank” for kids, or perhaps it’s more similar to a Fortune or Forbes meets “Highlights” — replete with inspiration board cutouts, cut-out business cards, a recurring column by “Shark Tank’s” Barbara Corcoran and a set of profiles of 12 real teen business owners.
“We have seen this whole empowerment thing with girls coming together and dreaming big and wanting to put ideas in motion,” said Teen Boss editorial director Brittany Galla, who explained the title’s raison d’être.
Galla, who has worked on the expansion of Bauer’s youth division, which includes J-14, Twist and Girls’ World, said the new titles is the seventh print launch since the beginning of 2016.
Acknowledging the volatility of the teen market — Teen Vogue and Seventeen cut their frequencies last year to four and six times a year, respectively — Galla noted that titles targeting a very specific reader can find success.
“Teen magazines obviously as a whole have seen changes in the last three years,” she said. “The reader has changed over the years and we’re also looking to hit a reader who maybe hasn’t looked at the newsstand before.”
Newsstand? Come again? The beleaguered newsstand is hardly an ideal launch pad for a magazine targeting people who can navigate their parents’ tablets before they take their first steps. Last year Magnet said that since 2011, unit sales plummeted 52.4 percent and revenue fell 43. 2 percent. Perhaps even weirder is that the 96-page Teen Boss, which will sell for $5.99, won’t carry any advertising or have its own web site. It will just use social media via its own Facebook and Instagram accounts to publicize the glossy.
According to Bauer Media U.S. chief executive officer Steven Kotok, that’s the Bauer way.
“Bauer in general is a newsstand-driven company. Most publishers earn more than half [of their revenue] from advertising and subscriptions,” he said. “Bauer earns more than half from the newsstand.”
Teen Boss, which will come out three times this year (June 19, September 18 and December 18), will launch with a distribution of 200,000 copies.
“It’s clearly declining,” Kotok said of the newsstand. “We do sell ads but it’s not part of the strategy. All of the launches are more of a niche strategy. They all work financially on the newsstand.”
Although Kotok isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel at Bauer, he said he’s working on growing subscriptions at the company and looking at digital opportunities.
Some of those opportunities hinge on the social media world. Influencers. In Teen Boss’ case, for its first issue, the magazine has partnered with Digitour, a producer of live events featuring young YouTubers, Musers and other social media stars. (Bauer told WWD that the partnership does not include a monetary exchange).
Indeed, Teen Boss is featuring Digitour cofounder and ceo Meridith Valiando Rojas on the cover with four of the company’s social media stars, Kristen Hancher, Tyler Brown, Simon Britton and Nathan Triska.
Teen Boss’ first issue will launch “The 24-Hour Intern” contest, where readers will have the chance to win a side-by-side experience with Rojas at a DigiTour event and run their business ideas by her, Bauer said. Teen Boss and DigiTour will also cohost multiple signing events at Barnes & Noble locations across the country, among other things.
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