Time Inc. launched its experimental run of Mine magazine a few weeks ago under the auspices of truly custom content. Readers picked five of eight Time Inc. publications – from Travel and Leisure, Golf, Money, Food and Wine, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, and Real Simple – and editors handpicked repurposed old articles based on those choices. Advertising, of course, was highly customized as well.
So will the Mine model be a savior for print? All signs point to not yet. The first issues didn’t go so well. Some of the articles were outdated (up to 2 years old), and some could be found online. Articles were run as-is when a few timely edits would have made a big difference (note to Time: the World Cup isn’t coming up in two weeks). I suspect magazine-lovin’, media-savvy consumers (who would actually sign up for this thing) expect more.
Only 31,000 copies of this freebee are available in print; an additional 200,000 subscriptions are available for an online version. I may have missed the boat by a few weeks, but I still managed to sign up for the print run today. And while I can see the value of a timely magazine covering disparate (but targeted) subjects like golf, money, fashion, food and travel, when my magazine interests are assembled, I think Mine will look a lot like a traditional women’ s magazine, covering fashion, food, travel, current events, and decorating/home-making. (I’m so cliché.)
I’ll give an update when Mine comes in the mail.
– Caroline Hatchett