In an era where magazines are failing, how does FHM maintain its audience?
The origins of FHM magazine date as far back to 1985 in the United Kingdom where the magazine began publication. FHM was first published under the name “For Him” and changed its title to FHM in 1994 when Emap Consumer Media bought the magazine, although the full “For Him” Magazine continues to be printed on the spine of each issue. Circulation of this magazine was expanded to newsagents quarterly by spring 1987, after the emergence of a similar magazine Loaded which was regard by them to be the blueprint for the lad’s mag genre. For Him Magazine’ firmed up its approach to compete with expanding market by introducing a sports supplement.
The magazine is published monthly and changed its name to FHM this being the abbreviated version of ‘For Him Magazine’ this is probably to gain the audience attention as they can print these letters bigger and bolder which a generic convention that FHM uses. It has dominated the men’s market around 1997 according to ABC magazine results where A. Crawford presented an article where she collected information on FHM magazine sales, FHM managed to overcome all other magazines and reached over 600,000 sales a month which was a 76% increase on last year which was 365,000” This shows FHM after just over 10 years have managed to overcome and compete with other magazine and are still managing to do so in the present day, this suggest that FHM is in high demand and the audience are genuinely interesting in the magazine. Also FHM began to expand internationally and now sells magazines in 26 different countries.
You can read also Audience Adaptation Paper
FHM was sold as part of the publishing company sale, from EMAP to German company, Bauer Media Group in February 2008, which is owned by the Bauer family. This magazine in the genre of is an lad’s magazines, they look so to sell their magazine to a target audience of men the age of 18-35, predominantly males belonging to A, B and broad C socio-economic classes with an interest for everything and anything sexy, funny and relevant to a men’s lifestyle, for example hobbies, and sports.
According to a Synovate Media Atlas survey, “This magazine has over 1 million readers monthly across all socio-economic classes; this figure is based on a survey carried out by Synovate Media Atlas in the 2009-2010 year. ” FHM has had other successes with the e-media platform by introducing fhm. com. This website version of the magazine has bought more users in and maintaining a large audience, this proves by the mass of audience that FHM is actually selling magazines and gaining revenue. –analyse website, analyse magazine FHM makes their revenue through the cover price of the magazine which is ?3. 0 monthly and through yearly subscriptions offered to readers, and their revenue is mostly produced by the adverts within the magazine.
In 2002 according to New York Business Wire, “FHM has revenue gain of an outstanding 105% over last year, in addition the magazine ends 2002 with the largest issue of the year. ” Over 10 years ago FHM managed to increase their revenue through selling magazines and selling advertisement space, the adverts must have related to the audience for them to keep buying the magazine therefore keeping the audience interested in the content of the magazine.
Also because of the substantial increase of revenue in 2002 this put FHM in good stead to further develop their magazine to maintain the audience. According to Audit Bureau of circulation (ABC) in Jan-Jun 2008 ‘FHM continue sales of 280,392 and remains the bestselling magazine in print, online and overseas, it outsells GQ, MAXIM and LOADED. In April 2008, FHM witnessed record levels of traffic on FHM. com culminating in an ABCe of over 2million users. FHM now numbers 31 international editions worldwide. ’
According to these figures FHM have found a way to gain money through magazine sales, also FHM have found an effective way to use their created space in their magazine and selling that space to advertisers. This will help FHM gain revenue, as advertisements are important for advertisers because they also need to get their product recognised then there will always be space filled within FHM. This can be useful for the magazine as they can choose to publish articles that match the advertisement for example an article on fitness and sport and advertisement for a new football boot may follow.
This allows the Advertisement Company and FHM to work together. This means this is an effective way of earning extra money with the magazine than just sales. – Specific evidence from mag Also FHM have a e-media platform, fhm. com. This has become increasingly popular with the consumers as they can choose what they want to read and in website form can hold mass information, FHM have created this media platform so they can give exclusivity to the audience and because this platform has different features from just a magazine this will keep the audience from getting bored.
FHM has also released magazines editions worldwide this will allow for diverse mass audience and will help FHM’s sales. – Why do people buy and read magazine We can analyse FHM by using the Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory, whereby she theorised that consumers are largely masculine and that women is controlled by the male gaze. This idea is that women’s body is displayed and makes the men the voyeur.
FHM uses attractive photos of women by portraying them as sexually alluring and according to this theory would make the audience experience erotic pleasure from looking at the pictures of women. This attracts the male audience using the male gaze theory. One of the reasons why FHM appeals to the audience; “Sales of early titles such as Arena and Esquire were rapidly outstripped by title’s such as Loaded and FHM, as images of the ‘new man’ were replaced by an emphasis on more ‘laddish’ forms of masculinity, associated with drinking, sport and sex. Jackson et al, 2001. This quote supports the modernism theory as FHM is saying that men are moving forward and is supporting the progression of different forms of a man’s masculinity, this suggests men are buying FHM because they are portraying a better element of a man’s masculinity than other magazines and because of this it is appealing to the male audience and the content provided has more relevance to the audience.
The male audience is attracted by the idea of a masculine lifestyle is about drinking, sport and sex which FHM offers them, this attraction is one of the reasons why this magazine has had successful and maintaining sales for a sustained period of time. FHM have many articles that improve a man’s body shape by training and giving the audience different advice and tips to help them they also provide dietary tips to go alongside.
This article appeals to the aspirer’s as they want to improve themselves and aspire to a better body. Search google “FHM and media theory” The User and Gratifications theory suggest that users proactively search for media that will not only meet a given need but enhance knowledge, social interaction and diversion. This theory interprets the audience for actively integrating media into their own lives. It implies that the FHM compete against other information sources for the viewer’s gratifications.
Using this theory, can explain how articles FHM produce appeal to the audience, using the article mentioned before, according to this theory the audience actively takes in the article and integrates it into their lives for example articles that involve fitness work to improve themselves and articles that involve tips to improve different aspects of life. With this particular article about improving your body shape and therefore masculinity this gives knowledge to the audience and this can create diversion from their everyday life by improving themselves.
This is the audience actively integrating media into their own lives and is supported by Blumler and Katz’s work whereby they studied why people use particular media, and developed the users and gratifications theory. “FHM highlights and attempts to commodify aspirational aspects of a men’s lifestyle as a way of appealing to advertisers and also simultaneously trying to speak directly to readers as an authentic voice” this magazine can be generalised by using the hypodermic needle theory as they inject and portray how a men’s lifestyle should be and explain ways of getting there. The success of FHM was dependant on how this subject was addressed, commodifying men’s gender anxieties through editorial material that provides useful advice in a witty and accessible manner, often using ironic mode of address to avoid the charge of being sad or taking things seriously. ” FHM offers the audience Personal Identity, this magazine shows and portrays how a men’s lifestyle should be.
The consumers will act on this information and will let this magazine shape their own lives for example “Get a body like this with this diet” this article would be aimed at reformers that would like to make their body better also the magazine would offer this article and mention that there would be a follow up article in next month’s article, this would make the consumers buy the next issue therefore increasing FHM total monthly sales and maintaining their revenue.
Also this magazine will have articles on celebrities training regime this could provide the audience with surveillance and would be able to gain an insight into their lives this would also help maintain sales and would gratify the audience.
In FHM there is a main dominant stereotype about men, those there appearances and attitudes are masculine and FHM is very forward with this idea, they show men doing exercise with good strong body’s and the images they use are masculine portraying this dominate stereotype, the aspirers and reformers of the audience will act on FHM’s ideas of a man’s masculinity and will aspire to be there idea of a new man therefore making the consumers continually buy this magazine each month.
We can analytically investigate FHM by using the Pluralist model. The pluralist model argues that there is diversity in society and therefore there is also choice, because the audience is diverse with different views the media is influenced by society because the media need to please the audience they will try and reflect the values and beliefs that are predominant in society.
So FHM reflects the predominant masculine man and try to portray a typical man’s lifestyle, FHM stereotypes men to be very masculine, good in bed, happy in relationships, witty, considerate and skilled at all things. FHM shows these things in their magazines to captivate the audience and show them what they want to see, according to previous sales figures FHM seem to be doing this and have been maintaining it and therefore gaining revenue as well as pleasing the audience.