Bauer Launches Christian Magazine
Despite struggles in the past, the publisher is continuing its efforts on the newsstand.
Bauer isn’t wavering from its single-copy sales strategy with the launch of a Christian devotional title it’s calling Simple Grace.
The 144-page monthly magazine hits newsstands Friday with 200,000 copies priced at $3.99.
Though Bauer doesn’t have a religious magazine in its portfolio, it does have several women’s service products—Simple Grace is intended to build on its position in the latter market. Carol Brooks, editor-in-chief of another Bauer title, First for Women, will edit the new magazine, as well.
“After nearly two years in development, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Simple Grace,” says Brooks in a statement. “When we asked our First for Women readers what was important in their lives, they overwhelmingly told us that their relationship with God is central for them. So we decided to create an inspirational magazine that’s perfect for busy women: Simple Grace offers short devotional readings to start her day off right as well as features that make perfect before-bed reads.”
Despite downward pressure, Bauer has continued to show a lot of faith in the newsstand. Like its three largest titles—First for Women, InTouch Weekly and Women’s World—Simple Grace will rely heavily on single-copy sales. Each of the three existing magazines have seen marked declines in newsstand sales over the past several years, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
The company didn’t have much luck either when it debuted Closer, a celebrity title aimed at older readers, in late-2013. Also built in the newsstand model, its rate base was slashed by a third, down to 100,000, just two months after launch.
It’s worth noting that Simple Grace is a much smaller, more targeted effort though. Its initial print run is just a tenth of the size of Closer’s.
Nor are newsstands declines unique to Bauer. As a whole, almost 17 percent fewer magazines sold on the newsstand last year, according to research firm MagNet, while revenue from those sales declined 11 percent. Bauer actually outperformed the industry, at large, for single-copy sales in the fourth quarter of 2014, beating its peers by almost 3 percent.
Newsstand sales will be a central component, but advertising will also play a role in the magazine’s revenue model.
“There is currently no other title of this sort which is accessible to consumers at mass retail outlets, so we are truly breaking new ground with this exciting launch,” says Ian Scott, publisher of the title and president of Bauer Media Sales.
While Bauer continues to invest in print, it’s also building out its digital portfolio. The launch of Simple Grace comes the same week Bauer announced it would be starting J-14 Español, a Spanish-language digital version of its popular teen celebrity news brand.