Mag Bag: Hachette Mulls Loyalty Clubs

Second Act

Hachette Mulls Loyalty Clubs

Hachette Filipacchi Media is considering importing a European marketing idea, fee-based loyalty clubs for magazine readers as part of a push to increase audience and revenues by transforming itself into a "media and servicing company," according to Folio:, which reported the news earlier this week. The new initiative comes as magazine publishers seek new revenue streams to offset losses suffered in a challenging ad environment.

Although nothing is set in stone, Folio: President and COO Philippe Guelton outlined a concept in which magazine subscribers pay a still-undetermined monthly fee to join clubs offering benefits, including retail discounts, special film screenings, wine club memberships and multiplatform digital delivery of premium magazine content. One obvious example offered by Guelton would be fashion and beauty-related shopping discounts and other benefits for Elle subscribers.



Also, Hachette is continuing full throttle with its transition to digital distribution of content. Woman's Day is preparing a new mobile, multimedia cookbook app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, combining text recipes with video. The new app, priced at $9.99, is titled "The Woman's Day Cookvook: Healthy Food for Everyday Living" -- and no, that's not a typo: "vook" is one of the newer digital neologisms, combining "video" and "book."

It has become increasingly urgent for publishers to find new revenue streams to offset huge declines in ad pages and revenues. According to the Publishers Information Bureau, total consumer magazine ad pages fell 21.6% in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, and 25.6% for the year overall.

Entrepreneur Prepares

Entrepreneur is readying a new Web site targeting baby boomers who are retired or nearing retirement, called The site will offer visitors content covering traditional areas, like travel, leisure and vacation homes, but also advice and articles about a new phenomenon that might be called "semi-retirement," in which successful boomers "retire" at a relatively young age but start a new business or career.

Spin Gets Into Licensing

Spin has launched a new Spin Licensing Store, offering the magazine's trove of music-related images up for purchase and use by other publishers in editorial content. The virtual store gives editors access to an archive of about 3,000 images accumulated over the magazine's quarter century of publishing, mostly focused on photos of popular and up-and-coming bands, past and present. Spin will also begin licensing videos of music performances and related content.

Old Navy T-Shirts Sport Vintage Popular Mechanics Covers

Old Navy and Hearst are teaming up to bring old covers from Popular Mechanics to T-shirts for kids, targeting parents who haven't found the appropriate retro-futuristic aesthetic for their little ones. The new line of T-shirts for infants, toddlers and young children, selling for $10.50-$12.50, offer one of four vintage covers, focusing on mechanics, specifically transportation. The magazine is also hosting a design contest called "Kids Can Do Great Things." The winning submission will appear in the magazine and the artist will receive a $500 shopping spree at Old Navy.

Cosmo Editor Invites Senator-Elect Back for Naked Reprise

Kate White, the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, extended a (presumably tongue-in-cheek) invitation to Scott Brown, the victorious GOP candidate in this week's Massachusetts Senate race, to pose nude for a centerfold spread in the magazine. While Brown is likely to demur, the invitation is not totally unprecedented. In June 1982, Brown, then a law student, posed nude for the magazine as part of its "America's Sexiest Men" issue.

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