As media bleeds between the lines of print and electronic worlds, showcasing new titles, Web sites and marketing promotions, niches within the industry are becoming more circumspect. In other words, for every lifestyle, there's at least one magazine dedicated to covering it. The music enthusiast may enjoy everything from Rolling Stone to Vibe; the artist reads ARTnews and ArtForum; and the teenage demographic, an especially potent niche, has forever been indulged with pin-up 'zines about the latest pop cultural phenomenons. The trend towards target publishing suggests that for every generation there's not only a Gap, but also a magazine.
According to Grant Clauser, editor-in-chief of E-Gear, "Our society and culture is not as homogeneous as it once was. As diverse hobbies develop, diverse publications to serve those audiences naturally follow.…Niche publications allow readers to stay in touch with their own individual interest or associations."
Along with publication launches designed to appeal to focus groups, also comes concern of whether or not a consumer market can support the many deviations publishing takes. "In a market with launches on the increase and ad pages on the decline, it is always with some trepidation that I welcome a new magazine to our family," admits Martin Schneider, retail and finance reporter for Fairchild Publishing. "But publishing houses who seek to 'corner a market' seem to have more success in their launches, as they are seen as destination or 'must-run' ad locations."
David Dritsas, senior editor for E-Gear magazine agrees. "Consumers benefit because they can get focused coverage on a topic they're interested in," says Dritsas. "For publishers, it presents a good opportunity to make money in a particular niche, but since it will not bring in as much revenue or circulation as mass-market magazines, the publisher needs to have several magazines in several different categories. However, I believe that the general topic magazine business is saturated, and entering a field with a new title is risky. Finding a niche to fill may be a safer bet."