Style, Celebrity and Wellness Reign in Latina Magazine Market
Just as the notion of a monolithic Hispanic market is misleading, so, too, is the notion that there is a monolithic Latina media market. And just as the Hispanic market can be broken down into many sub-segments, so can the Hispanic women's media market. While many bemoan the state of the print industry in general, Beth Fidoten, print director at Initiative Media, tells Portada that she does not really think that magazine advertising is in a crisis: “There are more titles now than there have ever been. Audiences are being segmented and new niches discovered,” Fidoten says, adding that this is equally true for the general and Hispanic print markets.
Selecciones (375,000, monthly, Spanish), which is present in 20 countries and claims to be the world’s leading Spanish-language magazine, recently decided to re-tool its image to keep up with the changing times. Part of the re-branding campaign involved a new tagline, which reads "Comparta lo Bueno de la Vida" ("Share the best of life"), which encapsulates the essence of Selecciones. For its September issue, Selecciones leveraged its clout to get interviews with both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, boasting that it was the only Spanish-language magazine to be able to do so. In addition to a fresh design and updated logo, the general interest magazine will offer new columnists and features that will further extend the magazine's focus on community, while continuing to provide world news, topical health issues, parenting advice and other content that specifically targets U.S. Hispanic families. These changes include a new regular column by chef and food writer Daisy Martinez offering cooking tips and Latin recipes, a health and wellness column by Latin American lifestyle expert Julio Bevione, and a regular column profiling Latinos making a difference in their community. The magazine will also make greater use of photography and bold graphics. Selecciones is also seeking to help advertisers interact with the magazine’s readers in new ways, from sponsorship of new features and columns to experiential marketing through events.
Kena, which runs under the tagline of “El arte de ser Mujer Latina”, is published bimonthly with an audited circulation of 600,000. Its target is Spanish-preferred Latinas, aged 18-44. It is audited by BPA and is distributed nationally in the top eight Hispanic markets (LA, Miami, NY, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco & Phoenix).
“Kena’s main objective continues to be focusing on today’s Hispanic women, her aspirations, dreams and challenges that she faces in our ever changing society,” Sony Bequer, VP of marketing, tells Portada. “We offer the inspiration and guidance these women need to achieve the balance between family, social & inner aspects of her life.” Magazine topics include:
Beauty: including tips on the latest make-up & cosmetics
Fashion: Tips from the experts & seasonal fashion recommendations (clothing & accessories)
Skin & Hair Care: Look good at any age – tips on how to take care of your skin & hair
Wellness: Tips on how to obtain the best nutritional value in every meal for you & your family as well as maintaining a proper daily exercise routine are among the subjects covered in KENA
People en Español
People en Español was launched in 1996 as a special issue, and today has become among the top-selling Hispanic magazines in the United States. Published 11 times a year, People en Español’s guaranteed circulation is 515,000 and reaches more than seven million readers every month with Hispanic and popular entertainment, fashion and beauty trends, and humaninterest stories.
People en Español recently hired Lucia Ballas-Traynor as its new publisher, who tells Portada that one of the publication’s primary goals is further developing its online presence: “We’re a monthly magazine living in a daily world, so we’re going to focus on utilizing the online space to report on the stories that interest our readers as they happen.” Ms. Ballas-Traynor says that the publication has no plans to re-brand the publication, but rather to “evangelize” the publication’s existing brand strengths: “One of the challenges of managing a mature brand is that sometimes the power of your brand can be taken for granted by the marketplace,” Ms. Ballas-Traynor says, adding that it is her goal to re-enforce and solidify the People en Español’s brand by continuing to deliver relevant and compelling celebrity and style related content to its readers.
Latina is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine for more acculturated Latin women. About a third of the magazines readers are 25-34, while a full 77% fall in the 25-55 age range. Median HHI is about $64,500, and47% of its readers are college graduates; eighty percent are employed and 57% have at least one child in the home.
Three out of four readers were born in the U.S. Speaking to the content preferences of her magazine’s readership, Publisher Lauren Michaels tells Portada, “The acculturated Latina (our particular segmentof the overall Hispanic market) is focused on beauty and fashion, arts and culture; in fact, Latina has increased its fashion and beauty pages by 50%. Our readers are interested in arts, literature, culture and entertainment, especially music. Our ‘Cultura’ section brings them the most up-to-date information on upcoming trends and noteworthy developments.”
Another major player in the Hispanic magazine market is Meredith’s Siempre Mujer, written in Spanish and published 10 times a year. Meredith is the doyenne of women’s magazine publishing in the general market and in 2003 it decided to bet on the growth of the Hispanic market by creating its Meredith Hispanic Venture unit, which also publishes Ser Padres. Meredith Hispanic Venture recently commissioned a report on the “Evolution of the Hispanic Woman”. Of course, many parenting magazines and media, including the properties of multimedia parenting company Todobebe, are predominantly geared toward the Hispanic woman (mostly young mothers). So are shelter magazines like home-improvement magazine Casa y Hogar.
A Preferred Medium for Hispanic Women?
“It is important to emphasize that most Hispanic women feel more comfortable reading and handling their own magazine issue, so print is still preferred by most of them” says Kena’s Sony Bequer. “Furthermore, there is a percentage of Hispanic women that still do not own a computer at home, or are not computer savvy, making it impossible to navigate online.” Asked whether the magazine is more popular in print or online, Latina’s Lauren Michaels responds that the print edition still commands the lion’s share of the magazine’s audience: “Print and online serve somewhat different functions. We are seeing growth in both our print circulation and our online user base. The beautiful images featured in our magazine’s fashion and beauty spreads are so much more impacting in print, and the in-depth articles on culture and politics also work better in a magazine.”
Cathy Areu, publisher of Catalina magazine (500,000, monthly, English), is not so sure about how fixed Latinas are on print: “Since the start, we’ve seen our readers gravitate to our online content as much as to our print product. The two platforms have complemented each other since our inception,” She says. Areu points to their seven year-old online e-newsletter, saying the magazine started its e-newsletter when the concept was in its infancy. “Of course, now e-newsletters are the norm for all magazines, Hispanic and mainstream,” she adds.
The Sky is not Falling
The Hispanic women's magazine market is as diverse a group of publications as one will find, its numerous publications covering every corner of Latina interest. And while it is not hard to find those willing to discredit the print industry as a whole and insist on its imminent demise, a sober assessment of the facts reveals a starkly different reality: importantly, ad revenue is up 53% versus 2002.
> Consumers are willing to pay more for their magazines, with the average single-copy prices increasing
from $3.20 in 1997 to $4.50 in 2007.
> In 2007, there were more than 1,300 more magazines published in the U.S. than in 1997.
This includes magazines and Web sites for teenage fashion- oriented Latinas, Hispanic mothers,
brides-to-be and many others. In short, the Hispanic women's magazine market —like the
broader media market— is arcing toward greater segmentation and niche focus,
wherein the goal is not to be all things to all people, but rather to be the thing to a specific
group of people; so long as each constituent magazine tends to this basic premise, while
establishing and maintaining an astute digital presence, then individual and collective
prosperity in this marketplace should remain well within reach.
> While ad pages have remained flat over the last three years, they are still 8% up compared to 2002. More
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