For print magazines struggling to stay relevant in an online world, one publisher may have found a way.
Major media house Time Inc. has created a print magazine in which the content and advertisements are tailored to each individual subscriber. In an experimental five-issue run, Mine magazine allows readers to select titles from eight Time Warner/American Express Co. magazines that are then combined into a personalized magazine. Lexus car ads, paid for by the magazine’s sole ad sponsor, Toyota Motor Corp., are also customizable, and are individually targeted based on subscribers' responses to an online survey when they sign up. You can read more about it here.
Mine appears to have been well received by subscribers. According to Slate writer Farhad Manjoo, the publishers still have some kinks to work out—there’s some lag between issues, some of articles are a few months old, and the ads can go overboard on the personalization—but overall the idea is a success. Readers enjoy the benefits of personalized content and the portability and durability of a real-life magazine.
Personalizing printed content is an idea that has been tried before, but Time has huge brand recognition and a lot of content to choose from. It’ll be interesting to see if the idea catches hold.