Digital lifestyle title: Primedia relaunches A/V magazine

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Primedia will relaunch Audio Video Interiors as Connected as it repositions the title to reach affluent consumers living a digital lifestyle. The debut March/April issue hits newsstands March 23.

While AVI, a mainstay since 1989, targeted high-end home theater enthusiasts with a plethora of gear and technical specifications, Connected will try to broaden the audience to address the trend in designing whole-house systems in which sleek plasma displays are connected to home theater components and other electronics such as security systems and ambient lighting. The magazine will also showcase the latest trends in Wi-Fi, networked computers and media servers. Part of Primedia's Home Technology & Photography Group, Connected will publish eight times in 2004, with issues appearing every other month through the July/August issue. It will switch to a monthly frequency in September.

Connected joins a field of tech enthusiast titles including Hachette Filipacchi's Sound & Vision and CurtCo. Robb Media's Electronic House and titles in its own stable-Stereophile and Home Theater.

filling a niche

Connected Publisher Carol Campbell and Editorial Director Bill Gloede believe their publication will fill a distinct niche. "AVI was the first magazine to focus on home theater, now we're addressing the notion of connected living and looking beyond the obvious for the elements of design and function and the things that make a connected experience accessible and enjoyable," Ms. Campbell said.

AVI advertisers Sharp Electronics, Fujitsu and Sony Electronics have already committed to the new title. An executive at Samsung Electronics, which is not an existing advertiser, sees a need for the title but is skeptical about the circulation: "If you can show me the circulation strategy and the actual deliverables, then it's a very interesting opportunity," said Peter Weedfald, senior VP-strategic marketing, Samsung, "But is this the same 40,000 who are buying AVI?"

The magazine is launching with a rate base of 70,000-30,000 from subscriptions, 30,000 on newsstands and 10,000 copies distributed to Primedia's most affluent subscribers. AVI has a rate base of 40,000 with a frequency of 10 times a year. Newsstand distribution for Connected will be through 10,000 outlets including Barnes & Noble stores; its target-mostly male, average age 38, 69% of whom are married with household incomes of $139,000. A full-page, four-color ad will cost $10,435.

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