We Love Pop has its sights set on teen music fans

Last month, publisher Egmont UK took a step into the floundering world of teen music magazines and launched We Love Pop, a teen title focusing mainly on pop music.

We Love Pop: features high-profile artists
We Love Pop: features high-profile artists

With teen sensations such as Justin Bieber racking up vast column inches and pop hitting the headlines daily courtesy of this year's The X Factor, editor Malcolm Mackenzie says the time is right to position the brand as a Smash Hits of this decade.

'There is so much going on in pop right now,' he says. 'The X Factor has exploded and pop music has been getting bigger and better since 2009, particularly with artists such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

'Yet, irreverent, personality-packed pop journalism does not really exist. If you are a 13- or 14-year-old girl who is into pop music, there are no magazines to buy - that's the niche we're trying to fill.'

But the market is tough. The X Factor magazine X folded in December 2010, less than four months after launch, and teen magazine Sugar ceased publishing its print product in April, leaving Top Of The Pops magazine to weather the storm alone.

Launching a pop title at this time is a bold move.

Mackenzie believes it will work.'X didn't fare well because its demographic was wrong. It was aimed at 18- to 35-year-old women, when The X Factor's key audience is significantly younger than that.'

He adds: 'We found that kids were reading grown-up magazines because they felt the youth titles were too young for them. We wanted to bring the experience of reading a magazine that they would enjoy, but with people in it who they know and care about.'

Emma Wright, account director at Taylor Herring, believes the magazine stands a good chance of success, saying 'it's fun with a hint of silliness, without being rude or offensive to the talent it features'.

She says that it makes the reader feel as though they are part of a 'club', in the same way that Heat does, adding: 'We approach the journalists with talent-led content: interviews, syndicated Q&As, junket opportunities and behind-the-scenes pictures.'

But Pete Flatt, MD of PPR Publicity, feels that with such a digitally savvy target audience, the magazine may eventually have to rely heavily on its digital arm in order to stay afloat. 'I am sure Egmont is not pretending that its audience does not primarily use the web to get news and to communicate - that's why the We Love Pop magazine is supported with Facebook and a website,' he says.

Flatt feels that We Love Pop could emulate the NME model, where the print version is now just a small part of the package - dwarfed by the nme.com website and the brand itself.

But Mackenzie disagrees. He says kids are looking for something different from an online experience: 'Online, you consume information immediately, you just want to know facts, but a magazine is something you can discuss with friends and pore over.'

QUICK FACTS

Circulation 115,000 (source: Egmont)
Frequency Monthly
Price £2.99
Publisher Egmont UK
Website welovepopmag.co.uk
Twitter @welovepopmag
Contact Junior reporter Emily Kerr 020 7 761 3804
info@welovepopmag.co.uk

A MINUTE WITH ... MALCOLM MACKENZIE, EDITOR, WE LOVE POP

Who are your main competitors?

We see ourselves as somewhere between More, Bliss, Top of the Pops and Heat.

What does the magazine cover?

Eighty per cent of the magazine is about pop music, but we also feature items on film, music, fashion and beauty.

What are you looking for from PROs?

Behind-the-scenes access with celebrities is always a winner. We would like to cover anything from video shoots, to backstage on tour, to birthday parties - anything that feels intimate and exclusive. We have a technology page, so there is always room for products, especially those that are celebrity-endorsed. We also want to do lots of competitions and offers.

What are your lead times?

If a PRO wants to place a story with us, they should bear in mind that it is not going to be published for a while. They need to be on the ball and anticipate what is going to be exciting in a month or so's time.

What is not going to make it into the magazine?

We are a mainstream pop magazine with a bias towards young girls. If PROs are trying to sell-in stuff on the basis of featuring 'fit' boys, remember they have to be age-appropriate, not 35-year-old men.

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