How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups?

My magazine is quite conventional when it comes to representation within the music industry, a theme that many music magazines follow. The target audience is intended to portray and develop western ideology, this being the case means its representation of eastern culture is little to non and follows very closely the modern beliefs of the new age west. This includes equal opportunities for everyone along with some capitalist structure.

I believe my magazine portrays women in a modern way, powerful and capable of anything. The way in which I intended the front cover image to be perceived was of a person who had achieved their goals and more regardless of gender an impressive task. The way in which the subject is pictured however could be perceived as a common representation of western beauty, slim, young and healthy, however this is not the key points of the image the picture is clearly taken to show a position of power and success and not as a way to sexualise the female subject a theme which many media formats sometimes fall down on.

Rural Versus Urban
My magazine is intended to show both sides these groups as it is great way to contrast acoustic with electric guitar and even show juxtaposition of an urban character playing acoustic as this apposes common belief a great example of this would be an artist such as Ed Sheeran. This real life situation greatly inspired the Creation of Demarcus Robins, the feature of my DPS, a formerly rural guitarist going back to his roots.

My magazine is designed to appeal to up and coming guitarists along with guitarist enthusiasts, whilst the parts of the magazine I show did not represent the older ages I think it may very well do if expanded. One thing that my music did is modernise or make playing guitar both traditional and classic whilst feeling new and fresh this common link allows for all generations to enjoy the content through the soul link that they enjoy playing guitar.

Whilst my magazine did not represent any other race than white I believe people of all ethnicities would enjoy my magazine this representation is not to be a reflection of my audience but is possibly due to the predominantly Caucasian nature of the UK populous, my magazine represents guitarists regardless of race.


Evaluation of My Music Magazine


My music magazine, Pick, is a rock based guitar magazine my idea was to appeal to a smaller target audience range than most other music magazines this is because in my research I discovered these types of magazine on a whole were more successful because they tend to suit their audience better.

In what ways does your media product use, develope or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?Music Magazine Final JPEGMusic Magazine Contents Page JPEGDouble Page Spread JPG

I strongly believe that my magazine has presented the forms and conventions of music magazines as it follows and sometimes expands upon key features of magazines. Firstly my magazine in appearance is vary similar to a conventional magazine for example, it has a masthead at the top of the page, a central focal point in the form of an image and surrounding text which is seen in most if not all popular magazines.

Another way in which I follow the conventions of a music magazine is in the fact that the appearance of the contents page is incredibly representative of what a traditional magazine contents page is. this is because of it featuring an image and a side box with a short amount of text about the articles within the magazines.

Overall I didn’t challenge the conventions of music magazines in a great amount as I believed and still believe that the more matured audience in which I aim my magazine towards feel that the classical more conventional form of magazine is the ideal as if they wanted something new and different they wouldn’t buy a music magazine. However, although my magazine did stick to most conventions its social representations were slightly unconventional in the sense of  a music magazine.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The main way in which I represented social groups in my magazine is through my representation of women on and within my magazine as my selling point is less focused on the sexual representation and more on the talent in which they have. This is because traditionally the representation of women in magazines is heavily leant towards over sexualisation of female artists for example Katy Perry as they are often scantily clad and pictured to what social constructs define as ‘attractive’. to challenge this representation I pictured my subject focusing less on this aspect. I believe that the way I represented my subject is more like the social group of women in reality and a fairer representation.

Another, but less large of a social group, in which I presented was the guitar community. I aimed to represent guitarists as a social group whom are passionate and committed to their hobby’s. I aimed also to represent them to be a multitude of all social groups for example culture, sex and ethnicity. I believe I achieved this through my presentation of both sexes in my magazine.

What kind of media institute might distribute your product and why?

The media institute in which would distribute my magazine is most likely to be a distribution company such as Bauer as they already distribute and produce some of the most successful music magazines such as Q, Mojo and Kerrang. They also claim to represent real music magazines which focus on skilled music which I believe my magazine, being a guitar magazine, represents very well.

who would be the audience for your media product?

The audience for my music magazine is Guitar players who are passionately interested in guitar culture. This will span a large age range as most all ages are interested in guitar. I also believe that that my magazine is leaning more towards rock culture in its overall aesthetics and content, this will mean that my magazine will lean towards more of a western culture as the content appeals more on a whole towards that.

How did you attract/address your audience?

The main way in which I addressed and attracted my audience was through the featured well known artists in which I displayed on the front, specifically targeting bands heavily guitar oriented. I thought this would be the key to attracting an audience into the cycle of buying my magazine but the things that were different about it would keep them buying and interested.

What have you learnt about technologies from producing this product?

Whilst producing my magazine I have learnt specifics within Photoshop which I believe have advanced my knowledge and understanding of the program. I learnt in detail to use affectively tools such as the Lasso Tool, the clone stamp tool and other such items within the program. I used these skills to develop my product in a way not too dissimilar to the way a real magazine would be produced.

I also used the program InDesign for the first time when creating my product I used my already thick understanding of Photoshop and the way adobe lay out their programs to get a feel for the program. However, at first I struggled to understand the program so I used the internet along with video instructions to get a sound understanding of the more complex things you can do within InDesign. I believe from my use of this unfamiliar program I have learnt the ins and outs of it and now would feel completely comfortable with most tasks.

I particularly found the use of InDesign affective as it allowed freedom in creating my product in places which would struggle. I found its extensive text options allowed me to play around with the lay out of the text within my double page spread to create a more authentic product.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

School magazineschool contents page

One way in which I have seen my skills in producing a magazine, from when I first created my school based magazine in my preliminary task, is through how magazine like my overall magazine looks. Firstly, my original production only followed a few conventions of a music magazine, as it contained a masthead and other key features. However, the smaller features within my school magazine weren’t as developed as they are now in my music magazine.

Secondly my magazines audience in the preliminary task was not as planned out and as thought through. In turn issues with themeing twoards a particular audience is something that has developed throughout this year. As within my music magazine I address my audience within the magazine itself as the guitar community.

Another thing I believe has greatly improved is both my composition of shot and mis en scene within my pictures. Firstly, the dress in which my subjects are in within my shots were planned through to greatly affect the appearance of the subject, to make them more guitar player like. I did this through both the clothes in which the subject was wearing and the makeup they were wearing.

Fourthly, I believe my image set up has vastly improved as I thought more about lighting and the angle in which I take the image from, I also focused more on getting the correct colour balance and not over or under exposing my images. I believe that these image composition necessities were less developed when I made my preliminary school based magazine.




Breakdown of magazine NME

 In this essay I will be breaking down, and analysing the signs, of the front cover of the music magazine NME from the 16 of May 2016. The magazine NME is one of the largest music magazines still available today hence I thought would represent successful music magazines extremely well.

Firstly, the immediate use of signs noticeable on any magazine is the masthead. In this case the large NME across the top. This sign both through well developed name along with its outstanding nature on the page invokes an immediate feeling of familiarity although the actual topic inside is somewhat unfamiliar.

 The second thing that catches the eye is the image, in this case the face of the band Catfish And The Bottlemen along with the phrase “am I the bad boy of rock, then?” Which instantly symbolises to the reader that he is some what of a stereotypical ‘bad boy’ of rock. However, the use of signs in the image and partner text doesn’t end there.

 The first image based sign is within the mis en scen, in which it shows the subject wearing sun glasses which signifies through predetermined connotations that it adds an air of mystery to someone. This coupled with the angle in which the camera is facing the subject and the fact he is looking directly into the camera shows he has a large amount of confidence. This fits in with the predetermined connotations of the stereotypical ‘bad boy’. These layers of signs allow the readers interpretations to be guided through context to back up the mythical and planned out story of how the subject is a ‘bad boy’ .

 The ways in which these signs are collected together in order to sell the product appeal to the audience in which this magazine NME aims to sell to. It’s aimed audience is predominantly early teens to young adults this is a somewhat large range audience is evident through its use of large amounts of younger dialect and slang like the phrasing in which it says ‘big gob’. Another way in which it speaks to this audience is through featuring bands affiliated with the audience, in this case Catfish And The Bottlemen.

 The ways in which the magazine sets to appeal to its audience is through frequent use of names in which the target audience may like. This is common in almost all magazines as they tend to list most if not every band featured in the magazine. This addition of NME does this in the bottom right corner of the cover listing names like Super Fury Animals which are arguably similar to the featured band, Catfish And The Bottlemen.

 Along with this commonly used feature of the magazine it shows an image of a plus symbol. This symbol acts as a sign commonly interpreted as meaning ‘more’ and through common beliefs in modern western culture, and even somewhat worldwide culture, is typically perceived as a positive thing. This is arguably a very useful and effective sign as it couples pre-connotations with the plus symbol in its other meaning of positivity.

 Another, common, but highly effective feature displayed on the front of this issue of NME is the phrase ‘win’ in bold text on a yellow background. This implys and makes the reader feel like they are in with the chance of success which in common culture is highly prioritised and is critical in the fo

Who Would Distribute My Magazine?

The distribution stage in producing a magazine for the public is an important step which is often overlooked. It can often be key to its success making a magazine more accessible can induce greater sales but this isn’t always the most efficient way to get your magazine in the public eye. Distributers work closely with the producer to get to the product to the right audience quickly and cheaply. So who would distribute my magazine?

The largest distributors of magazines are Bauer and Time INC (ICP Media) these two distributors spread and advertise over 60% of the worlds magazines as well as distributing some TV and Radio stations too in the case of Bauer.

Bauer distributes over 1000 products including 600 magazines including Mojo, Kerrang and Q these being some of the most successful music magazines that Bauer would be a great choice for a distributor for any music based magazine. As well as being a successful music magazine distributor it boasts many hobby magazines too including Golf, Classic cars and Bike theses may not seem to mean much for the distribution of my magazine however it being a specific guitar enthusiast magazine means it has a select audience which Bauer has proven to be great at distributing to with such hobby magazines.

Time INC (IPC Media)
This media distributor giant is in charge of distributing the music magazine NME one of the most successful music magazines along with many other successful magazines such as TIME. Although its obvious success with NME suggests it would be a good distributor for my magazine its shift towards digitalisation of magazines is not the route in which I think would be the best for my magazine. Although it would be good for my magazine I think that Bauer would be more suited.

Although there are many other alternatives to these two distributors I believe that the decision to stay with one of these would be the most beneficial to my magazine especially Bauer, their experience within the field is unmatched by any other distributor and that’s why I think they’d be the perfect distributor for my magazine.



Types of language used in Music magazines

The types of language used in magazines vary drastically depending on the type of magazine it is, for example, magazines like Q show a prolific use of formal language through most of the articles it publishes. This is in stark contrast to magazines like Kerrang whom are the perfect representation for use of informal language. This is evident through its Culmination of frequent use of slang and idiolect.
Why are some magazines perceived as formal? 
Heavy use of things like ellipsis and short sentences is arguably used in both the writing styles of both Q and Kerrang which are distinct signs of informality in text, however, the use of things like this are effective in making a magazine more appealing. Since uses of things similar to this are discounted as being informal as they follow the conventions of magazines making Q still seem fairly formal against Kerrang.
How does formality effect sales?
Past trends tend to show that formality of magazines has no effect on sales however it could be argued that magazines which lay somewhere in-between are likely to be also. This is because sales of magazines similar to Q are still fairly well off along with magazines such as Kerrang implying that either way would not have a negative affect on the sales of the magazine as long as the formality or informality of a magazine fits with its target audience, for example a formal Classical magazine and an informal punk rock magazine.
What does this mean for my magazine?
Because of this and fitting along with the theme of my magazine I am most likely to make my magazine lean more towards formality in the text displayed as this evidence along with my research implies that heavily formal magazines are more successful in the long run e.g. Q and Mojo because they stick to formality across all aspects of their magazine which appeals to what’s left of the music magazine audience

My Audience

My magazine is aimed at most guitar players, which is a considerably large audience who tend to all be passionate about music, guitars and guitarists, however my magazine is going to be leant more towards rock and alternate guitarists. I felt this would have the people most likely to purchase a magazine along with being a large target audience.

From my research I found that most people cared about things such as the featured artist when buying a magazine, this would be beneficial to my target audience as guitarists tend to be up to date and educated on famous guitarists. I also thought that guitarists being my target audience I could display exclusive music set ups which would appeal to many of them which would offer something interesting and different to less specialised more vague magazines like Kerrang, Q or Mojo.

I also found through my research that the sales of instrument magazines have been fairly consistent even through the decline of the pop magazine publishers like String, Guitar Player and Drum have remained at similar sales marks for the past few years even showing an increase in sales mainly due to the decrease in price of instruments resulting in more sales resulting in a larger target audience. This coupled with Globalisation and the increase of free time due to it makes people want to be more passionate than ever with things like guitar.

I think this would be a good target audience as it delivers something that is in high demand but isn’t really readily available so offers a fairly unique and possibly profitable magazine idea. Along with this the interests of guitarists span from the guitarists themselves to the set ups they use.


Decline of the music magazine

The music magazine was once prolific in the united kingdom with magazines such as classic rock and NME. On its first publication in 1952 NME kick-started its char toping success.
However, following the early 2000s and the rise of the internet the information available in the music magazines became readily available to almost everyone, leaving the music magazine in a predicament as only loyal customers and magazine fanatics actually purchased them.
In the early days of music magazines prints like NME sold frequently an showed prominent success in both the music and general strands of magazine. In it s hay day NME sold around 200,000 copies a week.
These kinds of sales were replicated frequently in other brands as well showing great success in almost all genres and even subgenres of music magazines.
However, this almost perfect 30 year run of success was cut down in the early 2000s and late 90s through the introduction and popularisation of the internet. This saw the sales of magazines from NME fell 20% each year following 2000 up until 2013.
Its sales now stick around 18,000 a week which is still enough to be profitable however nowhere near as much as it was during its run of success. This fall was also replicated by magazines such as Q which in its hay day hit a height just above 200,000 again however falling to a mere 50,000 a year after 2000.
Is there hope? Its hard to say, however the general trend in the market suggests that there is a slight increase in all magazines, predominantly those which aim towards a niche subgroup market. Magazines which aimed large audiences such as Melody Maker fell drastically to their broad inclusion of various types of music putting off most of each audience due to the inclusion of the contrasting type of music to which the part likes.
Looking at the trends in music magazine sales the one which are doing the best at the moment tend to be those aimed at magazine fanatics and niche markets hence my decision to do a classic rock guitar style magazine as I believe this type of magazine will be more successful than most other types.

Conventions Of A Magazine

magazines, whilst vastly different in many ways often follow certain trends that are almost characteristic for a magazine to be a magazine, whilst the A4 sizing and book like pages are obvious some conventions are not so.
Magazines include many key features and defining characteristics such as Mastheads, titles, double page spreads etc.
Often at the top of the page, the masthead is almost the branding of a certain magazine and remains true to every edition of the magazine. The masthead is located at the top of the front cover and sometimes on corners of pages within the magazine this is true for Q magazine and many others alike. the masthead serves as branding making the magazine easily recognizable as well as memorable, this is usually involves bright colours and simplistic text in bold large formatting.
The title of the magazine is often short and catchy it often relates to a singular article primarily the main and most extensive article. The title often is one of the largest text on the cover second to but not always the masthead. the appearance changes from magazine but tends to follow the trend of Simple classy text for more formal magazines but edgy more contrasting bright colours for less formal magazines.
Full Page Image
The full page image often culminates with the title of the issue often conveying some relevance to the article, in the case of music magazines often a staged photograph somewhere along the lines of the accompanying article.
Pricing and Barcodes
Pricing and Bar codes appear on all commercially available for purchase magazine the general trends mainly consist of them to be located in the bottom right hand corner of the front cover, however the price can be located anywhere on the magazine especially on lower budget magazines.