The business magazine market has traditionally been stable. New
launches come but, to a large extent, they also go. In the 1980s
Financial Weekly launched and struggled before closing, while in the
1970s Investors Guardian met a similar fate. Even Now, the current
affairs and business magazine backed by James Goldsmith’s millions,
failed to make it in to the 1990s.
There is now a rash of new titles preparing to go to market, many of
which are cashing in on the so-called ’new economy’, covering the boom
in e-business professionals. Emap is currently working on a men’s
magazine with a business twist in the mould of US rich people’s title
At the same time, Future Publishing is importing Business 2.0, the
successful US ’new economy’ magazine, an independent publishing house
Spitalfields is looking at launching a new business monthly in a similar
vein to the German left-of-centre financial title Brand Eins and
Bristol-based Hewett and Stott are preparing to launch an internet
business title called e-web.
There are concerns, however, that the UK market is not ready to support
such a range of new titles. In the UK, business magazines that prosper
tend to be highly specific niche business-to-business titles. The
generalist press have sometimes struggled. Traditionally, the British
reader has taken business news from the daily and Sunday newspapers,
rather than magazines. This is in stark contrast to the US, where weekly
business magazines have provided that sort of coverage due to the lack
of any real national business reporting in the US and the perceived
weakness of the business coverage of the New York Post or Washington
The clear exception is the Economist, the UK’s biggest magazine export,
which has survived for over 150 years. ’The reasons the Economist is so
successful today are threefold,’ explains Andy Cornelius, executive
director at financial PR giants Citigate Dewe Rogerson. ’It invests
heavily in absolutely top-flight journalism, it has a very powerful
brand-building marketing campaign but it’s also a global brand. It’s a
world business magazine that happens to be written in the UK. It has
circulation in Europe, Asia and the US so the UK is only a small part of
Curiously, at the same time that all these new launches are flooding on
to the market, the Economist itself is undergoing its first strategy
review, showing that, for all its global brand confidence, the business
magazine market is no place to rest on your laurels.
BUSINESS AGE - Chris Butt
Publisher: Priori Publishing
’We took over Business Age about a year ago, and we were very
disappointed to find that it had no ABC and we couldn’t apply for one
until June. We’re in the process of turning the magazine around. Our
first ABC is due in June and should be around 50,000.
’We’ll be focusing a lot more on people in business - writing
aboutrags-to-riches stories. To that end, we’ve just hired an excellent
new photographer, Maynard Firth, who is going to be doing some stunning
portraits for us.
’I think around 60 to 70 per cent of the title will be about successful
business people, but we’re not going to just write good news
The title will have bite.
’We’re very UK-focused although we will do stories overseas, it’s the
British economy that interests us most. We’ve got an e-commerce and IT
section, but we’re wary of over-kill in that sector. The whole magazine
could be full of technology stories, but I think it’s an untried market
and the BMW/Rover story shows that there are still real issues in the
’I think there’s room for all the titles. In fact there’s probably room
for a few more launches.’
BUSINESS 2.0 UK - Marcus Austin
Position: Senior editor
Publisher: Future Publishing
’Business 2.0 UK is the UK version of the two-year-old, 500-page US
monthly business magazine. Our cover strap line boasts ’new economy, new
rules, new leaders’ and essentially this is what Business 2.0 is all
about. Business 1.0 was the pre-internet economy, Business 2.0 is all
about the internet-based economy. The internet has basically redefined
the way people and companies work and what we hope to do is to help set
out the new rules of the game.
’Business 2.0’s main mission is to clarify and demystify business today.
To provide critical reporting on what’s working and what isn’t. To be an
indispensable tool for business.
’The new business people are driving a new economy, creating explosive
opportunity, arousing excitement, passion, and fear and the networked
economy they’re producing is the most important force shaping commerce
today. It radically transforms business, careers, and lifestyles.
’One of the other main differences between our magazine and the many
others due to launch this year is our advisory panel, made up of
internet business leaders from every sector; to maintain inside links
with the fast-changing internet industry.’
THE ECONOMIST - Bill Emmott
Publisher: The Economist Newspaper
’The new economy has had three effects on our business. Firstly there
are new readers who want to find out what’s going on. Secondly, our
existing readers who want to learn, understand, buy it. Thirdly, we’ve
got advertisers queueing up to reach our readers. That’s why our
worldwide ABC is climbing and our ad revenue is increasing.
’Our strongest areas are still the UK, the US and western Europe and its
US advertisers in particular that have been turning to us. We’ve changed
the structure of the magazine to cope with this. We publish 20 special
reports a year, flagship features looking at geographic or economic
’Last year, four were on the new economy. This year it will be five.
Since January, we’ve run weekly, three-page features in this area,
allowing us to put it on the cover every week. Later in the year, we’ll
start a series of quarterly reports on technology. Interestingly, we are
seeing a demographic change in our readers as a result of this.
Traditionally, people read us between 18 and 23 and then go off and
party until they are thirty-something, and then they return. Now, we’re
seeing far more twenty-somethings enter the entrepreneurial field so
they’ve start reading the Economist too.’