Meredith Launches Print Extension of Social Network
Mixing Bowl magazine to carry initial circulation of 260,000.
Magazine publishers have spent the last few years struggling to extend their brandsâ€”even those that have a big presence onlineâ€”into the social media space, where Facebook and Twitter rule.
Now, Meredithâ€”a magazine publisher that found some early success with Mixingbowl.com, its food-focused social media pure-playâ€”plans to launch a print magazine extension of its new social network.
The company sees Mixing Bowl magazine as a â€ścompanion publicationâ€ť to Mixingbowl.com, which Meredith launched in January as part of its womenâ€™s digital network. (The site has roughly 16,000 registered members now, with 300 to 400 signing up per day, according to Jeff Myers, vice president and general manager of Meredithâ€™s Special Interest Media division.)
The publication will be available in major supermarkets and bookstores nationwide starting today, carrying an initial distribution of 260,000 and a $4.99 cover price. A second issue is planned for January; its future after that is yet to be determined, Myers said.
â€śWe saw this as a unique newsstand opportunity, as well as a tradition advertising vehicle,â€ť Myers said, noting, however, that Meredith did not attempt to sell advertisers into the launch issue. â€śWe saw it as something that would serve the community and enhance engagement (first).â€ť
Sections include typical food magazine fare (â€ś10 Recipes You Canâ€™t Screw Up!â€ť) alongside profiles of Mixing Bowl users (â€śMeet the Membersâ€ť) and, of course, their recipes.
Myers said that while the company will use traditional print magazine metricsâ€”like profitabilityâ€”to determine how far theyâ€™ll take Mixing Bowl, they realize there is â€śvalue (in the magazine) beyond print.â€ť He declined to reveal exactly what those traditional benchmarks would be.
Meredith, meanwhile, is billing it as â€śthe first-ever print extension of a social media brand,â€ť although the accuracy of that statement is up for debate. In 2004, 8020, a company heralded for its community-based editorial model, launched JPG, a magazine for photo enthusiasts, as an extension of a vibrant online community.
But in January, 8020 was on the brink of folding and announced it would shut down; investors, however, materialized, and the magazine was expected to relaunch this year.