Empire, the established film bible which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary has further cause to celebrate, in what has been a testing decade for the magazine sector, the popular title has evolved and grown due to its embracement of the digital era and their concentrated and measured approach to the powerful medium.
In stark contrast, other weekly titles have suffered badly in the same time frame, lad’s magazine Nuts, which enjoyed huge success and once was recording sales figures breaking the 300,000 mark during its peak this week announced its was to close operations after sales had steadily dropped since those heady days back in the late 2000’s.
The main reason for Nuts demise is believed to be the readily available content of the same ilk through online sources; this though, has not stopped Empire from growing its subscriber base to 145,000 per month, a figure which dwarfs its circulation numbers pre-internet 1990’s.
Mark Dinning, Empire’s editor-in-chief, says the title has embraced the digital age – X-Men stars including Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Lawrence created a “social media storm” after a stunt tweeting the 25 covers of its special February edition – with the print edition receiving increased investment.
“We have revelled in digital,” he says. “Upped word counts, kept paginations, introduced more lavish photography than ever before. There is blood on every page. We have also benefited hugely from the industry we report on, breaking world exclusives. I categorically believe it is the place for it in the monthly magazine.”
“The genres that are the most in decline are men’s and, more recently, those relying on celebrity content – magazines of the ilk of OK!, Heat and even high-end Hello! – thanks to the rise of Mail Online, TMZ and even sites such as Hearst’s Digital Spy,” Douglas McCabe, media analyst at Enders told Mark Sweeney of The Guardian.
The past decade has not been kind to the majority of weekly print magazines with a steady decline in sales across the board, titles such as Heat have seen their figures drop from 566,000 to 241,000 between 2003 and 2013; OK! Magazine suffered a similarly dramatic fall between 571,000 to 301,000 over the same period. The main exception to the rule has been the continued dominance of Empire within their sector, their embracement of the digital age which included premium quality content, content that wasn’t readily available online combined with the full utilization of what digital has to offer, namely interactive features and rich media, they have blazed a trail and shown what is possible through the amalgamation of print and digital sources.
The mistake many titles made during the advent of digital media was to simply produce their digital editions as an afterthought, producing a simple replication of their printed offerings, often these titles were poor quality scans which offered no interactivity whereas Empire pushed the boundaries and used any and all means available to them resulting in a digital magazine that often had moving covers, built in trailers and full screen integration.
The Soaring and continued popularity of the title.
Proof, if any was needed that when handled correctly the internet and the features available through digital magazines can offer the publisher infinite opportunities in a world which is increasingly migrating online in their search for content and information. Interested in assembling a digital edition of the standard of Empire?