Match.com, one of the biggest online dating services, Wednesday announced the launch of a weekly Web magazine, called Happen Magazine, dedicated to the lives of single men and women who are desperately seeking relationships.
The magazine, located at www.HappenMagazine.com, offers features, Q&As, and advice columns, mostly produced by freelance writers--some of whom hail from heavy-hitting publications like The New York Times--all focused on the tumultuous world of dating. The first issue, which went live last week, featured a Q&A with Greg Behrendt, author of "He's Just Not That Into You," a list of conversation starters from entertainers, socialites, and authors, and a "profile makeover," in which an advice columnist suggested improvements to a Match.com subscriber's dating profile.
"I really think the audience is any single woman or man that's out there and interested in a fresh take and content devoted to the single life and all the complications of love," said Kristin Kelly, the senior director of public relations for Match.com.
Kelly said that Happen Magazine aimed to capture the same audience that tuned in to the HBO hit "Sex and the City." "We felt there was nothing out there in the marketplace really speaking to single people in all the complexities of love and being single," she said.
The magazine gets some street cred from its Editor in Chief, Janet Siroto, who was formerly executive editor at Cosmopolitan and Redbook--two magazines that wrote extensively about relationships and dating for a female audience.
Happen will be ad-supported in the future, and in the online layout there are spaces for several banner ads--but as of now they are occupied only by ads for Match.com. Ads in Happen are being sold through its parent company, InterActive Corp.
The site is being promoted at first through an e-mail campaign to Match.com's 15 million members, and through banner ads on Match.com. Kelly said that the company is planning to promote the Web magazine with a print campaign in the second quarter of 2005, along with deals tacked onto television and radio buys for Match.com, where writers from the magazine go on television or radio shows that Match.com sponsors with advertising.
Kelly said there are no current plans to take the magazine into the print world, but such a move couldn't be ruled out.