NEW MAGAZINES TARGET GEN X PERSONAL FINANCE

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Two new magazines, Your Future and P.O.V., are rolling off the presses with hopes of carving a niche among the financially responsible in the highly desirable twentysomething crowd.

There are hurdles to the titles' long-term success, but marketers seem encouraged by the first efforts.

"Generation X is certainly a very highly sought after and vibrant market in terms of spending," said Debbie Menfi, a senior VP at Deutsch, New York, which placed a Prudential ad in the debut issue of P.O.V.

But breaking into the market is no easy task. Richard Thau, 30, a former journalist who is now the fulltime executive director of Third Millenium, a New York-based public advocacy group for 18-to-34-year-olds, warns that most members of his generation are "woefully ignorant of economics, whether it is on the national, local or personal level."

"The challenge for any of these magazines is to convince people that they should be making investments in their future," said Mr. Thau.

The latest ventures are major efforts, with initial pressruns of several hundred thousand copies, aiming to make inroads into the upscale, professional mainstream.

Your Future is a one-shot being tested by Time Inc.'s Money. The title debuted on newsstands March 7, with a rate base of 150,000, distribution of 450,000 and a cover price of $2.50. It is seeking a dual audience of young men and women with a median age of 30. The coverage is heavily weighted toward financial advice. "You won't see a lot of lifestyle in Your Future," said Money publisher Geoff Dodge, who served as publisher for the test issue. "It's skewed much more toward personal finance-how to save, how to invest, how to manage."

Slightly more trendy and with a somewhat higher cover price ($3), P.O.V. debuts this week, seeking a male audience and combining financial advice and lifestyle information.

According to Drew Massey, the 25-year-old founding publisher, it is distributing 325,000 copies initially and hopes eventually to increase circulation to 750,000.

Half of the magazine's $500,000 production costs were provided by Capital Publishing, the parent of Worth, Mr. Massey said. A page costs $10,000, slightly less than the $14,500 for a page in Your Future.

Your Future might represent a flanking move by Money, the nation's most successful personal finance magazine, which has seen newer titles like Worth and Smart Money score major advances over it recently.

While the latter two titles saw their ad pages jump 22.9% and 86.3%, respectively, in 1994, Money increased only 2.7%.

The 33 ad pages in Your Future include such companies as Janus Funds, the Principal Financial Group and T. Rowe Price, as well as auto, liquor and cigarette advertisers.

P.O.V. picked up 26 ad pages in its first issue from such marketers as Guess Jeans, Calvin Klein, Fila and IBM, but it counted only Prudential in the financial services category.

"We really want to be the bible for young professionals," said Mr. Massey. "We have about 20% to 25% of the magazine devoted to money but we'll also be covering careers, lifestyle, sex and technology."

P.O.V.-which stands for "Point of View"-plans two more issues this year: a fall fashion issue to hit newsstands August 27 and a holiday gift issue Oct. 24.

Plans call for publication six times in 1996.

Money is playing it a little more cautious, calling Your Future a test whose fate will be determined by reaction to newsstand sales and a 350,000-piece direct mail effort.

"If the response is phenomenal, we could have another issue out a few months after I'm given the green light," said Money Executive Editor Caroline Donnelly, who served as editor for the launch.

Agency types seem divided on whether a spin-off from an existing title-which can tap into the economies of scale from a major publisher-or an independent venture staffed by a hip, under-30 staff stands the better chance for success.

Ms. Menfi said one potential drawback of Money's Your Future is that the twentysomething crowd "will identify the spinoff with something that their parents read."

Peter Gardiner, communications director at Berlin, Cameron Doyle, New York, applauds the spinoff concept. "The young market is a hot one for everything from first-time purchases in autos to credit cards. Sub-segmenting the market by publishers could make it attractive to a lot of advertisers," he said.

Joe Mandese coordinates MediaWorks.

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