While others duck and hope this whole mess will magically pass them by without too much damage, the Time Inc group of magazine is all about experimenting new business model. They recently announced a new project, on trial for a few issue, that will let users ( readers) customize their magazine.
The idea is quite simple. You pick 5 magazines from the Time inc group whose content you like and they will deliver via print, or online, a customize version, called “Mine” . The project is currently limited to the first 31,000 subscribers for print and 200, 000 for online.
The project was created and sponsored by one advertiser, the car company Lexus (owned by Toyota ) , because they also have a Hybrid car. Not sure how Hybrid applies to a magazine, since it is mostly used to define a car who uses two types of energy to run, but, hey, I am not a marketer.
The idea is since people register to get the publication and answer a few personal questions, the ads will be perfectly customized to the reader’s taste and will address them intimately, even using their first name. The magazine will become a huge ego trip to be shown to unsuspecting friends forever more.
You have to give it to the suits at Time Inc. for at least trying. Since the new magazine will be a rehash of other titles, it will not cost anything editorially. It will, of course, cost a little bit on mailing for the 31,000 lucky subscribers. The first issue will be shipped in April, for 10 weeks, with 5 issues as a prelimanary test.
The unanswered question, for now, is how images will be licensed. Since the final issues will be customized, images licensed for other publication might, or might not, appear in the final edition. Are photo agencies and photographers ready to come up with a reasonable fee quickly, when asked ? Or will the conversations be full of “mmm..”, “i don’t know”, “let me think”.
To sign up or learn more click on the picture below: