Magazines are using MySpace profiles as a promotional tool and adopting “social media” as a component of their Web strategies.
Think of MySpace’s inclusion on this list as representative of the sweeping influence of “social media” on magazine publishing.
According to Magazine Publishers of America, more than 40 member magazines keep profiles on MySpace, which is dabbling in print itself. Rumors have circulated about the service starting its own print magazine, and in March, the British trend magazine Marmalade published an entire issue filled exclusively with content submitted by MySpace users.
Magazines with an official presence on MySpace include teen titles such as Seventeen, Jane and Cosmopolitan, but a much wider base of magazines is beginning to embrace the community value of MySpace. Titles ranging from digital-only spiritual and lifestyle magazine Upshot to enthusiast publisher Mini Trucker have developed profiles as a way to open up a two-way channel of communication. New York has a MySpace profile, which has more than 1,000 MySpace “Friends.” It has generated 20 new subscriptions from the MySpace page, and this year will expand its presence on both MySpace and community site FaceBook, not only to promote magazine content and subscriptions, but also contests and events. “We really want to professionalize this,” says Serena Torrey, director of communications, strategy and business development. “We want to find new ways to make the audience feel engaged with the magazine. The sense of engagement our younger audience has is different from the 40- or 50-year-olds reading the magazine.”
Even American Business Media has partnered with MySpace, establishing a page that touts the association’s mission and seeks to attract full-time students with an interest in b-to-b media. ABM currently has 29 “friends,” including the city of New York, more than a dozen college students, and Rupert Murdoch, whose company, News Corp., owns MySpace.
The next step will be publishers starting to adopt the MySpace model within their own sites.
More than 40 magazines have a presence on MySpace for promotion and partnerships, and the model is influencing hundreds of others.