Imagine media's biggest play this year is the launch of three new magazines capitalizing on the convergence of technology and entertainment, all skewing heavily toward men.
In July Imagine launched Revolution, a monthly centering on the fast-growing genre of computer-influenced "dance-techno music"; last month the company launched Total Movie, focusing on the world of DVD movies, and next month brings T3: Tomorrow's Technology Today, a gear magazine targeting addicts of diverse high-end technology products.
"As a publisher of technology titles, we can see a convergence happening between technology and entertainment and we think this is our moment to bring a fresh voice, and our deep understanding of these areas to a broad spectrum of entertainment," says Jonathan Simpson-Bint, president of the Imagine Media Entertainment Division.
Total Movie, designed for technology fans, targets men "because men like to watch movies episodically, and DVD is the perfect medium," he says.
The first issue included two free DVDs showcasing two hours of original content including short films, scenes deleted from movies, celebrity interviews and previews.
Total Movie is one of the only magazines dedicated to DVD editorial, but its publishers believe it will have a "Premiere meets Maxim" attitude. Imagine Media expects Revolution to push against other music-related titles such as Rolling Stone, Vibe, Spin and The Source. T3 has "a slice of a lot of other books like Wired, PC, Car & Driver and Men's Journal, but instead of being a lifestyle magazine with a slice of technology products, we're a technology magazine with a slice of lifestyle," says Associate Publisher Bill Kelchner.
TOO MANY MOVIE BOOKS
At least one media buyer has some reservations about Total Movie. "There are too many movie books out there, and the movie book category in general is struggling," says Joanne Carides, an account supervisor with Zenith Media Services, New York, representing Allied Domecq Spirits USA, which has placed ads for Kahlua in Revolution.
But Mr. Simpson-Bint remains optimistic about Total Movie, which includes ads from film studios and home entertainment equipment, with more lifestyle advertising expected in its next issue.
HEADING FOR MAINSTREAM
In fact, all three magazines are attracting new categories of advertisers for Imagine, helping the company expand into more mainstream consumer advertising channels.
Examples include record labels, stereo equipment, fashion, fragrances and alcoholic beverages in Revolution. Recent ads come from Calvin Klein, TDK, Rolling Rock beer and Captain Morgan rum. Ford Motor Co. has also committed to place ads in Revolution later this year for its Ford Focus.
Some advertisers are optimistic about targeting men through techno-entertainment magazines. "Revolution has a very focused audience in a fast-growing niche, " says Jennifer Black, director-advertising and merchandising for Astralwerks Records, one of Revolution's first advertisers. It gives "us a more direct way of reaching people."