New!'s editor, Kirsty Mouatt, the former deputy editor of Hot Stars and the Saturday Express Magazine, believes people want a "short, snappy read at a very competitive price". She may be right, particularly where price is concerned. What's On TV and TV Choice have shown that there is room in the television listings market to hit the number one and number three positions respectively, if you chose to operate at the budget end of the sector. But what does New! offer for 60p that will help achieve sales to match the initial print run of 800,000?
The front cover of the first issue was extremely busy and took the safe option of featuring Victoria Beckham. Inside, the editor's letter introduced New! as "OK!'s bolder, brasher and, of course, prettier younger sister".
The New! sales team says the title is aimed at "socially active, ABC1 women in their late 20s", with a mean target age of 27 (compared with the "more family orientated" OK!'s mean age of 36). Based on its first issue, the title looks set to appeal to the more youthful late teens.
Regular features such as Sneaky Snaps, "the pics celebs don't want you to see", were thin on new content and "Get the Look" opted for low-entry, high-street fashion alternatives.
On a positive note, if you're into star spotting, New!'s weekly guide to who to spot and where is nice. My only concern was the suggestion on where to spot Carol Vorderman this week.
The title lacks any TV listings content but takes the same position as Now by recommending TV programmes to view over the next week, what's new in film and a soap guide to the week ahead. All standard stuff, but Heat offers me more for my money.
The title plans to carry a "low quota" of advertising. At the moment, this is a safe card to play. The launch issue features four ad pages (two fragrances, one for a chewing gum and the other for mobile ring tones).
All advertisers you wouldn't be surprised to see with the teenage sector titles.
At the moment, the title lacks that "must buy" feel, certainly for socially active ABC1 women in their later 20s. New! didn't surprise me - in fact, it delivered in line with my preconceptions. A cheap title, with poor photography and very little tangible content. Alright, so it's only 60p but, page for page, I think I'd rather pay £1.10 for the 98 pages of comprehensive gossip to be found in Now.
Publisher: Northern & Shell
Cover price: 60p
Full-page ad rate: £13,475
Advertisers include: Tommy Hilfiger, Abound, Partymob.com, Clear Channel