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Childrens - Laura

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago
 
 
My sector to research is children’s magazine websites and how they experiment with new media forms. To begin with I looked into content and distribution data of popular children’s magazine publications to get a brief idea on how they work as a business model.
 
Toybox
  • The top selling magazine pre-school magazine on the market.
  • Target audience 3-6 years.
  • Features popular children’s TV characters.
  • Circulation 92,400 (Jan- Jun 07)
  • Readership 1,061,000 (Oct 03- Sept 04)

 

Balamory
  • Most successful pre-school publication launch.
  • Big hit with parents and children.
  • Content- follows a day in Balamory
  • Circulation 42,789 (Jan- Jun 2007)
  • Readership 894,000 (Oct 03- Sept 04)
  • Website www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/balamory/

 

 Bob the Builder
  • Every issue you meet a new machine and see new places being built in Sunflower Valley.
  • Content is full of stories, activities, and hints for children to work along in teams.
  • They promote recycling.
  • Circulation 68, 041 (Jan- Jun 07)
  • Readership 2,118,000 (Oct 03- Sept 04) 
  • Website www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/bobthebuilder/

 

 

 CBeebies weekly

  • Includes CBeebies characters, puzzles, coloring, songs and makes.
  • Pages reflect what’s been on TV that week.
  • Front cover pulls off to be a reward chart.
  • Circulation 69,834 (Jan- Jun07)
  • Target audience 3-5 years.
  • Website  www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/
 
 
Charlie and Lola
  • Arts and crafts magazine.
  • Issued monthly with free craft kit and stickers
  • Circulation 67,984 (Jan-Jun 07)
 
 
 Fifi and the flowertots
  • Target audience 3-5 years.
  • Includes activity pages, cooking, coloring, dressing up, nature trails.
  • Includes notes to parents to encourage parent participation.
  • Circulation 36,715 (Jan-Jun 07)
 
 
 Tweenies
  • Follows stories of Milo, Bella, Jake and Fizz.
  • Includes stories, bright pictures, songs, games, role play and make it activities.
  • Sales to date are in excess of 12 million copies.
  • Circulation 38, 721 (Jan- Jun 07)
  • Readership 2,428,000 (Oct 03- Sept 04) 
  • Website www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/tweenies/
 
 
 Underground Ernie
  • Full of stories, puzzles, coloring in, ideas to make things.
  • Free gift with every issue.
  • Circulation 38,259 (Jan- Jun 07)
  • Website www.undergroundernie.com
 

 

 

Website reviews 

 
 Tweenies
 I choose to look at the Tweenies website www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/tweenies closer to see how they have made the website child friendly. The home page is very colourful and contains a lot of fashing imagery. Choosing the activities is made more fun and interactive by choosing icons on that flash and make nioses on a wheel.
This website has interactive download games, songs and dances where they use moving images and step by step pictures to keep the audiences attention.
I also found a option on the website that was targeted to the parents attention that went to a link that said the games on the website were also adapted for children with special needs or learning difficulties which I thought was a great idea.
The site contains no advert but does include links to other cbbc websites. This is a good business model to keep bbc website use high.
The site also used the voice of the characters from the show so the children feel comfortable using the website and deter the attention away from the fact they could be learning new things from the website.
 The website is easy and simpl to use because of its target audience however does use a lot of new media forms however from what i have found it doesnt contain any other forms of distribution just merely a website to enjoy and interact with.
 
CBeebies
 I looked at the CBeebies website www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies which again was very colourful and well organised to make it easy to use for their young audience.
The website includes curret issue coverage including previews of content and images of their free gifts to encourage the use to buy the magazine. There are activies and competitions for the children to get involved in.
The main forms of distribution models are downloadable forms to fill out and take to your newagents to register to recieve the magazine weekly to your home.
There is also a link to a page that pictures and list other bbc childrens magazines which have further links to find out more about them and to encourage them to potentially buy those magazine too.
There is also page called "tips for learning" targeted at parents with comments from the editor on how learning is important and how the cbeebies magazine plays an important role in providing children with key skills. This could be viewed as a advertising method to draw appeal to parents to buy the magazine.
 

Girltalk

I looked at www.bbcgirltalk.co.uk which contains many distribution forms. On the home page there is a picture of the latest issue with pictures of the free gifts to draw interest to their audience to buy the magazine.

 There is a link to join the girltalk club for free on the homepage with a list of advantages you will receive such as regular email updates and special offers sent to you when you become a member, again to influence the user and boost there distribution numbers.

There is also a link to subscribe to the girltalk magazine which comes at a special offer, 26 issues for £35 which saves you £6.

There are also competitions you can take part in by emailing in your answers, embarrassing stories to read and rate on the “blushometer”, letters and photo send in’s, competitions and story downloads.
The layout of the website is very pink and girly and simple to use with fluttering butterfly moving images to add interest to the pages.
The website shows that is experimenting with new media forms as it has "new" picture gallerys where you can upload pictures of your pets as well assend in your best GT e-cards to provide the site with more interactive features.
 
Horse and Pony  

www.horseandpony.com uses a strong focus on free downloading which includes games, desk top wallpapers, e-cards and podcasts.

 

 
They also like girltalk influence their internet users to subscribe online to get the magazine delivered to your home at a discount price with the offer of gift to attract a higher readership. Again like girl talk you can become A VIP member of horse and pony however they charge £5 and get more “in-depth interviews and behind the scenes action when using the website”.
There are also user voting poles, games and information and pictures that are included in their latest issue to encourage them to go out and buy a copy.
 The home page has advertising for another horse website which will provide an income for the site.
 
 
Nickelodean
 www.nick.com/all_nick/nick_mag
 
 
The website also includes message boards, the option to preview their current magazine and information and pictures about what is coming soon to the magazine.
There is also the option to subscribe to the website where you gain access to the “prank factory” and “funny photos” etc.
 
The pages are over crowded with color and movement and choices of activity. There are frequent pop up advertisements, moving images, tabs that scroll down, noises made when icons are selected and slide shows.
A new media form i found interestin is the opportunity to upload your own video's to the site. There is also a Nick shop to encourage the users to buy Nickelodian merchanise to bring in income to the site.
There are message boards to register with to keep the users on the site for longer.
Although the site is full of new media forms it is apparent that they will be experimenting with new ones soon such as blogs and caption fill ins of funny photo's as they advrtise them on their home page as "coming soon".
 
 
 
 
Gogirl
www.gogogirlmag.co.uk is very similiar to the girltalk website in its layout and content because of the same target audience. There are links to game girl, club, cringe,mystic kittu, destiny diva,hot gossip and quiz tastic on the main selection menu. These links cover content that are typicailly found in their magazines. However unlike girltalk it doesnt have a link to subscribe to the magazine.
The website has two large advertisment banners for www.mega-star.co.uk which provides a link to the website to find out more.
The users are encouraged to become more interactive on the site by suggesting they join the gogirl club which when you've joined and play games and take quizzes you gain points to dress up your virtual gogirl.
Mystic kitty provides the user with a text box to submit questions and replies with a answer. Another model used to keep the user interactive is the cringe stories where you are able to vote how embarressing the stories are on a scale.
This website doesnt include include any advanced new media forms with their main focus on providing light entertainment with little enthasis on purchasing the magazine.With what i have found this site covers regular feautures the magazine, acting as a overview of the magazines content rather than anotheropportunity to make extra money. 
 
Shoot
Shoot magazine- “Shoot is committed to keeping its coverage of football fresh, fun, interactive and stimulating. From the Premiership to the Conference, from internationals to youth football, Shoot can be relied upon to give you the facts straight, time after time”
 
www.shoot.co.uk is a website for a childrens football magazine targeted at young boys.
The website main features include you tube footage of games where you can watch and comment via email, text or rate on a poll.
There is also the option to share the articles on the website to friends which is made easier with direct links to facebook, dig, newsvine, reddit, now public and del.icio.us to help boost circulation of the website.
There is a search engine on every page where you can type in players, matches or teams which leads you directly to appropriate pages.
Game zone is a page where you can play interactive games with some of them sponsored by Samsung. Therefore generating money from sponsorship income.
Your shoot page influences the user to write in with letters, comments or picture via post, email or text with each text costing 25p which is business model to make money.
 
Polls are used to keep the publishers informed of the users opinions in order to provide them with interesting pages to maintain the users interest.
Like all of the other magazine website there is a big focus on subscription to the magazine with digital subscriptions forms pages making it quick and easy to fill in and become a subscriber. As well as this there is a link to renew subscription to maintain the readers they already have.
There is also a look at the latest issue of the magazine on the webpage to dvertise and encourage the user to go out and buy the magazine. The web page also has advertsing banner for igoal which will be a big source of income for the site.
 
 
 
 
Toxic
www.toxic.co.uk has seven main links-toxic world, compo’s (compotitions) ,jokes, games, cheats, fart machine and downloads.
From these links the main experiments with new media are the downloads of wallpapers and coloring pages, search engine for computer game cheats and the interactive games.
This website does not have the offer for subscription for the magazine but does have subscription to “my mega bogie” to collect points to make your own “mega bogie explode” (interactive game) and the advantages to vote for challenges, receive free downloads and receive a free newsletter every two weeks. Even though the subscription is free it is an opportunity to keep the users of the website interested and interactive on the website.
The webpage’s have two large adverts for the “hot wheels” website that remain heading and bordering the right side of each page throughout the website. This advertising is relevant to the male audience using the website and will be a good income for the website.
 
Doctor Who
Website visits -3,184,538
Welcome to Doctor Who Online's Doctor Who Adventures Magazine section. This is the place where you can find all the latest information and highlights about the latest issue of the fortnightly magazine. We also have covers for every back issue of Doctor Who Adventures Magazine
www.drwho-online.co.uk is a website dedicated to the magazine Dr Who adventures.

This webpages include many advertisements from argos, children in need to other dr who relivant websites. These will provide income and also influence users to logg onto other sites that they may own such as www.whoone.co.uk and www.davidtennant.co.uk.

The website ha a visibal counter of how many visiters its had and how many people are using the Dr who chat room.
This website is by far the most up to date with new media forms with a huge menu of options- forums, news, release guide, reference, reviews, events, features, fandom, web planet, DWN,DWA, torchwood online, chat, YAWHO, DWO whocasts, timestream, the doctors diary, physic paper, competition, DWO zonegames, ebay, shop and email.
I found the link to the Dr Who ebay shop and who store a really interesting new media form in order to entice users to buy merchandise and souvenirs to boost their income.
Another business model they use is the offer to become a lifetime Dr Who patron at £10 to receive such things as newsletters and a larger mailbox on their forum. This will attract big fans and frequent users and will cost the website next to nothing therefore making them a good profit.
 
The weekly pod cast (Who cast) of reviews and interviews from the actors and director seems to be a big hit with the site claiming to draw in 25,000 listeners a week. There are direct links to pod cast, get juice, I tunes and podcast alley to make it easier for the user to access this.
 Throughout the website each page has a advertisement link to another page on the site to maintain the users interest in the site.
Another feature I didn’t find on other sites is video greetings made by the editor and actors from Dr Who online and Dr Who. On there website such as Gogirl had pictures of the editor with a written caption by them but nothing as advanced as this.
 
 
 
 
There are forums to join to discuss Dr Who topics with other fans as well as having star guests on the forum to attract users to log in to ask questions.
 
How do the websites draw in income?
One of the main sources of income for website is advertising or what Newbold (2002) Marketing Communications pg 357 calls “webvertising”. He suggests that unlike tele-sales and magazine advertising the web can use all aspects of “speech and sound, the written words, standing and moving images to deliver a message adjusted to the individual”. One of the most common forms of advertising used on websites is the virtual poster or “advertising banner”. These usually include short captions and moving images to try and attract the user’s attention whilst surfing. I found a lot of these on the children’s website that either linked to other pages or other relevant sites. The effectiveness of these banners can be measured by its “click through rate”, these are monitored carefully because if the banners aren’t fulfilling their purpose the publishers need to create new ideas to attract attention to further links.
 
Most of the sites I looked at included interactive games, quizzes and activity downloads which Newbold calls “promotainment”. On most sites they were free however the users were offered advanced promotaiment if they subscribed to the magazine or website online at a cost which will ultimately make an income for the site.
The publishers of the children’s magazine are aware more children have mobile phones and that they will most likely use them to communicate more often than email. Therefore use mobile telecommunication as a business module form to send them updates of the magazine direct to their mobiles in order to make an extra income. Not only that but some of the websites offer ringtone’s and wallpapers to be sent to their phones which again is a good source of income . This is what Newbold calls “proximity marketing” which explains how users of the sites can be targeted directly even when they are offline.
 
I spoke to Emma Haddersfield the editor of Go girl www.gogirlmag.co.uk who said “our main source of income on our website is advertising, we have previously tried competition entries to boost income however we found this wasn’t popular, our target market is girls aged between 7 and twelve and as a company we think forums and such like chat room’s are not suitable for our audience, we have tried to keep our website simple and fun and to mainly act as another form of advertising our magazine”

 

I also got in touch with Alex Mills a part of the editorial team at www.shoot.co.uk who said “We don’t have any current plans for new forms of distribution because the text ins, emails and snail mail provide us with a steady income and were happy with our current responses”.

 

Emma Harper who used to be an editor on the Cbeebies magazine website www.cbeebiesmagazine.com and is now currently working on the magazine said “our magazine website is funded by the BBC therefore don’t use or need to use advertising to bring in an income, the only advertising we have is links to other Bbeebies websites, because our audience is so young we try to keep the pages interactive with a few music and coloring downloads but we are looking to further our distribution with more music and program downloads like our BBC 7 website which has been found to be popular, we don’t always do competitions because they have caused problems in the past, the website is also targeted at parents so that they can see what our magazine is all about if they have bought or thinking of buying the magazine”.

 

 

Conclusion
My overall findings have shown me that the children magazine websites have still got time to expand and explore the use of new media forms. Some are already experimenting with podcasts, downloads, use of mobile phone interactivity etc and from contacting publishers of the sites found that they are working well for the distribution of their magazine.
I did find it difficult to find websites dedicated to children’s magazines with already most of the children TV character magazines already having websites focused on the TV programmes which I did find to include a lot of new media forms. Therefore finding a niche market on the net for children magazine websites.
Out of the websites that I researched the Dr Who magazine website was the most advanced in the use of new media forms. I think that this is because the magazine is targeted at a young audience however the TV programme also attracts an older audience therefore use more new media forms to maintain interest. I say this because most of the other children’s websites used the most simple new media forms so that children can easily access them and use them. If children’s websites had too many advanced media forms it would deter the young target audience’s interest.  
The main purposes of the children magazine websites were to provide simple interactive games, votes, polls etc and to draw interest and influence to subscribe to the magazine. In all another form of advertising. I found that the big sources of income from the websites were advertsing, online shops and subscriptions.
Even though there is not a website for every childrens magazine i do think that this will change with children becoming more media savvy from a young age. This will ultimately appeal to magazine publishers as a further form of distribution. Tim O'Sullivan (2003) suggests that "All the "old"  media - press, cinema, radio, and television, and their traditional forms now take considerable challenges as they competein changing markets and circumstances. Changes in media production for instance, in electronic or web based publishing". He believes that new media production is causing a threat to "old" media forms and to keep up with societies growing knowledge and interset of new media forms they have to conform to maintain the publics interest.
 
 
Bibliography
 Newbold, C (2002) Marketing communication:possibilities in The media book, Great Britain, Arnold Publishers.

O'Sullivan, T, Dutton, B, Rayner, P (2003) Changing media worlds in Studying the media, London, Arnold Publishers 

 

 

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