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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Toronto And The Mens Magazine Market

By Adriana Noton

A well written, well put together, well focused magazine is a thing of beauty. It presents its subject matter in formats light on the distractions, unlike the Internet and television. A mens magazine can focus on body building, business, cars, provocatively photographed women, sports. A Toronto magazine can focus on the concerns and attractions of the city. In fact, Toronto, Canada's magazine Mecca, has a large enough population, some 5.5 million, to support a number of weekly and monthly publications all on its own.

Does a mens magazine interest you? It is odd that beautiful women don the covers of mens magazines and womens magazines. Judging these books by their cover leads inevitably to the conclusion that what men like most is looking at women and what women like best is looking at themselves.

Magazines are portable. It is one thing to bury yourself in your smart phone when you are lucky enough to get a seat on the morning commuter train. In Toronto, the commuter train is called the GO train. It runs from Oshawa, 60 kilometers east of TO, to Oakville, about the same distance east of the city. There is something about pulling a travel magazine out of your briefcase and reading up on Caribbean vacation destinations that is so much more in keeping with a vacation mood than looking for the same material on your laptop.

Good travel magazines are hard to come by. Some of the best are seasonal inserts in major newspapers. In fact, including a free monthly glossy magazine in the folds of a daily newspaper is quite common in the Canadian newspaper business. While a mens magazine is not the type for newspaper insertion, it is a well used forum for travel or business magazines.

The most widely purchased genre of magazines are celebrity gossip rags. Second place goes to those targeting women's fashion and beauty. These magazines are usually primarily ads. In fact, it is for the ads that they are often bought. Travel magazines feature in-depth, in-person reports and are invaluable for those who use their vacations to travel.

What a long journey mens magazines have travelled. Key to the evolution of the modern mens magazine was the 1960 Lady Chatterly case. D. H. Lawrences Lady Chatterly was a 1920 novel about a sexual affair between the wife of an aristocrat and a common gamekeeper. The sexual scenes were explicit. The case was a challenge to the sale of the book in the UK on the grounds that it was obscene. When the court found that people should be free to read obscene materials, the mens magazine industry was born.

The sports magazine industry has as many genre as there are sports, and then some. The best ones feature breathtaking action photos of athletes in the the throws of the competitive spirit. Again, the competition for and vetting process of articles ensures a quality far in excess of what is commonly available on the web.

The greatest magazine market in Toronto is the Toronto Sports Magazine market. The mens magazine market is the most poorly served genre. It seems the product imported from the United States is too much competition for a made in Canada attempt.

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