Spanish magazine revival: small editions in paper format

In an epoch in which traditional magazines such as Newsweek decide to go online only and the newspaper industry is in permanent crisis, some brave writers, political scientists, … and graphical designers have decided the moment has come for them to publish the magazines they always wanted to read in paper format. An this has not happened in a Nordic country with a long tradition of reading newspapers and magazines, but in Spain, a country where reading is not among the favorite pasttimes and which has been immersed in crisis for the past years. These are still small businesses with very limited editions; time will tell if they can survive…

Two of the recent examples are magazine dedicated primarily to football, but not only to football. 2011 saw the start of Panenka with a print edition of 1,000 copies; they are already at 6,000. They are headquartered in Barcelona and take special care of the quality of their journalism and their design; the aim is to create collectibles. Their targeted reader is a well-educated and well-off city dweller, and this focus has made it easy for Panenka‘s makers to attract advertising. 40% of their revenues come from subscriptions. The sales price is 5,- EUR.

The second football (plus culture) magazine is called Líbero, a quarterly made in Madrid since June 2012. Their second edition in October had already 17,000 copies, and apart from Spain, it has been sold also in some bookstores in Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Portugal. They have also an app for smartphones and tablets, and they use their website to help gain revenues. The sales price of the paper copy is 5,- EUR.

Yorokobu is a monthly magazine that was born in Madrid in 2009 and concentrates on trendy topics such as ecology, design, and urbanism. The print edition (sales price 5,- EUR) stands at 30,000 copies, and they will bring an iPad edition to the market shortly. To be able to be independent (especially of advertisers), the makers have started a different business creating corporate magazines, e.g. for airlines and hotels.

Jot Down is a culture quarterly in the line of the New Yorker (at least that is the idea of its makers). It started out as an online magazine, and last June made the switch to printed paper with an edition of 10,000 copies. It has 320 pages and no ads. Though the sales price of 15,- EUR is quite high, it already has got a faithful readership of well-educated 25-35 year olds that find it in a red of friendly-minded bookstores; this way of distribution helps them save the costs of packaging and shipping.

[Most of the information of this post comes from an original article written by Andrea Rodés and published on January 6, 2013, in the business supplement “ara emprenem”, pp. 4 – 5, of the Catalan daily Ara.]

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