AARP, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for people over 50, has been publishing Modern Maturity for most of its 44-year history. Modern Maturity has evolved into two editions, one for ages 59-65 and another for AARP members over 65. In spring 2001, AARP rolled out My Generation, a magazine targeted at the Baby Boom generation.
Modern Maturity is billed as the world’s largest magazine, with a circulation of 17.1 million for its two editions. My Generation has a circulation of 4 million.
While both magazines were weathering the recession with My Generation seeing a slight increase in ad pages during its sophomore year, AARP found having the multiple titles caused several problems.
The demographics of the Baby Boom generation led the magazine to be sent to members 50-55 the first year, 50-56 the second year and plans to add an extra year annually as more Baby Boomers became eligible to join AARP and receive the magazine. My Generation’s rate base and advertising rates changing every year.
This led to confusion among advertisers trying to pinpoint their audience and among members who weren’t sure whether they would get My Generation or the ages 59-65 edition of Modern Maturity, said publishing director Jim Fishman.
AARP employed a Roper survey and found that members identified more with the AARP brand much more than Modern Maturity or My Generation.
“We found the AARP brand is dominant among our members, so we feel the focus on one AARP title strategically makes sense,” said AARP spokeswoman Muriel Cooper.
The new magazine’s working title is AARP: The Magazine. There will be three versions of the magazine every two months, with editions focusing on ages 50-59, 60-69 and over 70. The editions will vary in its approach to some of the editorial content and in advertising but readers and advertisers will see little difference beyond the title change, Fishman said. “They were getting a lifestyle magazine before and they’ll be getting a lifestyle magazine,” Fishman said.