X Magazine seeks to reignite flagging music mag sector

One of the biggest new consumer magazine launches of recent years – X Magazine – hit newsstands today.

The new weekly music title is only available at Tesco and is published by Haymarket Network on behalf of Fremantle, the producers of the music talent contest ITV show X-Factor.

The magazine has a total editorial staff of around 25 producing weekly 100-page issues throughout the year, not just when X Factor is airing.

The magazine will be edited by Peter Robinson. However, because X Magazine is a contract title Fremantle will have final sign-off on editorial content.

Pop music has been one of the toughest sectors for consumer magazines in recent years. In 2006, both Smash Hits! And rival music magazine Sneak closed.

The sole remaining title in the sector is Top of the Pops, which sold 104,709 copies a week in the first half of this year, down 12.6 per cent year on year – and down from a peak of around 400,000 a week a decade ago.

Robinson told Press Gazette that he believes X Magazine will succeed because it has a much broader target audience than just the teen and children’s pop market.

‘It is a magazine for the people who watch X Factor, which is includes a lot of people who are used to buying weekly women’s magazines.”

The launch issue has several design tweaks which are similar to popular women’s weekly Grazia.

Robinson said: ‘It’s one of the biggest magazine launches I’ve been involved in. I was concerned about what sort of magazine it would be when I first heard about it…but it is a good popular magazine with an amazing editorial team

Andrew Taplin, managing director of Haymarket Network, said: “The women’s weekly category is very vibrant at the moment and the launch of this magazine will provide it a further significant boost.”

X Magazine has a cover price of £1.95.

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