Regional Independent Media's Absolute Leeds is slightly bigger than A4
and is both free and paid-for. It targets a lifestyle rather than a
demographic, according to its advertising director, Jeannette
"We distribute free copies to exclusive outlets such as David Lloyd Gyms
and the Crown Plaza Hotel as we want to get it into the hands of
people," she says. "Originally we targeted 18- to 35-year-olds but we're
now targeting a market even wider as we got such a good response from
advertisers." The magazine's editorial is mainly lifestyle content such
as restaurant, club and bar reviews, but it also includes celebrity
interviews, travel and new music. It probably boasts the most extensive
advertising of all the regional youth magazines as well as an albeit
small classified ads section.
It's written by staff from the Yorkshire Post and an ad manager from the
Yorkshire Post oversees advertising which is handled by two telesales
The circulation of 15,000 looks set to grow as RIM has had inquiries
from Harrowgate and has started to distribute copies there. The
18-month-old magazine is kept separate from the main papers, although it
does get promoted in Metro, which RIM publishes in Yorkshire.
"Absolute Leeds is a young brand," Walmsley says. "But it's also already
very established. We have good point-of-sale in newsagents and the
branding in the clubs and bars is very good for us."
Of all the regional youth magazines we're profiling, Spank is probably
the funkiest and also the most clearly focused. Sister to The Citizen
and The Echo, it's distributed around the bars, clubs, fashion shops and
stylish outlets around Cheltenham and Gloucester ten times a year and
has a circulation of 8,000.
Taking a similar A5-sized format to Pavement, it mainly covers clubbing,
but with some lifestyle-focused editorial as well, which seems almost
token in its inclusion. Like Pavement, it was created when one of the ad
sales executives complained that she was unable to target some of the
clients that she had at her previous job (at a lifestyle magazine) and
suggested a youth magazine as a point of entry.
Spank is distinct from the newspapers and won't even indulge in
cross-newspaper promotion or advertising. "Our market depends a lot on
the student market which is why we publish a double issue in July and
August and at Christmas," James Taylor, the special publishing manager
for The Citizen and The Echo, says. "We distribute the magazine anywhere
young people would go and that keeps it separate from the other papers.
It's difficult to know whether readers of Spank would read the papers as
the readership profiles are so different and, as we give Spank out free
while the papers are paid-for, we can't ascertain whether they'd buy the
papers because of Spank." The magazine, launched in June last year,
features local advertising, but has had interest from national
advertisers and some of the UK's biggest nightclubs.
Newsquest's Source magazine in Brighton is printed on thick newsprint
rather than glossy paper and everything about the monthly says
Its laidback layout suits its laidback audience.
Launched two-and-a-half years ago, it's distributed free to nightclubs,
bars, trendy clothes shops and cafes and reaches a circulation of
Newsquest, its parent company which publishes the Evening Argus and the
Leader, didn't launch it but acquired it from a Brightonian who was
publishing it independently.
"The first thing we did was increase the circulation from 10,000 to
13,000," Jonathan Cook, the group ad manager at Newsquest (Brighton),
"It was such a perfect model that we haven't changed much since we
acquired it. We tightened the design and added content elements such as
live music listings. It's very much a part of our regional press
offering." Source carries ads from local merchants and, in Cook's words,
"new-generation" retailers. Cook says that it's difficult to keep a
youth-focused magazine credible, which is why it vets new
" Adverts have to be in context with the editorial, although that's not
to say that we will refuse ads," he says. "But we will try and make
things credible if they're not."
Source has got street-cred. Now there's no traditional research to prove
that but you just have to look at the people in the street who are
Eastern Counties Newspapers' Pavement is A5-sized, and has the widest
subject range of all the small youth-focused supplements. Although
clubbing is a big part of its editorial, Pavement also covers reviews of
fashion, gadgets, books, films and music, as well as listings and
The magazine launched in June last year after employees of the Eastern
Daily Press and the Evening News suggested it to management. After
talking to advertisers, Eastern Counties launched the magazine with one
full-time editor and a full-time sales executive. The rest of the
magazine is written by freelance contributors. Pavement also runs club
nights at local club nights like the DeP(r)avement event at Ponana,
where it has branding but also generates revenue.
Pavement has a circulation of 10,000 around Norfolk, Suffolk and
According to Stefan Phillips, the advertising director for ECNG Norfolk
Publishing, the magazine hasn't had an effect on the readership of their
main newspapers, but it has brought in a considerable amount of revenue
from local companies.
"When we launched we placed a few ads in the papers, but nothing
substantial," Phillips says. "At the moment we target 18- to
30-year-olds but we're finding that our advertisers want us to stretch
the age group to 35. We haven't pushed the magazine to national
advertisers, but we are about to place our first ads from Beck's."
The oldest of our profiled youth supplements at 18 years, City Life
originally started out as a student title but quickly grew into a
paid-for lifestyle magazine and even a separate company - Diverse Media
- from its parent, the Manchester Evening News.
As the city has developed into a clubbing and weekend destination, the
readership profile of both the magazine and the paper has got
"49 per cent of Manchester Evening News readers are under 40, and of the
readership of City Life, 85 per cent are under 44 and 23 per cent are
under 25," Mark Rix, the advertising director of MEN, says.
The magazine has seen some of its advertisers drift into the Manchester
Evening News, but Rix doesn't believe that City Life's readers will
follow suit. "With MEN we have to appeal to a broader audience, but
wouldn't take the same direction as City Life," he says. "I don't think
there's been an effect, although we haven't researched that." The
magazine and the newspaper cross-promote and carry similar job and
property ads, although the magazine also carries national brand
"We've been able to attract premium brands which we wouldn't have
carried in the newspaper, so it's certainly allowed us to create
revenue," Rix says. "We see City Life as a way of capturing the
readership of tomorrow.
We'll eventually see City Life readers reading the newspaper, but it's
hard to quantify."