Australian Geographic Explorers, a new magazine for kids, has just launched in Australia. Contrary to what one might expect, the launch comes when the supply and demand for kids’ magazines has been growing over the past five years. And for 2020, kids magazine subscription sales on isubscribe.com.au are up 27 per cent year-on-year (YoY).
Australian Geographic Explorers magazine targets kids up to 12 years with engaging content on animals and the natural world and a special emphasis on Australia.
National Geographic is one of the most well-known and trusted brands in the world and its decision to offer a publication for the younger generation transformed the kids magazine market and with it, broader ideas about what engages kids.
The business of kids magazines
There’s good business sense behind the publishing of kids magazines.
There are strong opportunities to create additional brand assets and develop a multichannel following with such a big audience; parents and grandparents are regularly looking for quality offline and education-based activities and entertainment ideas.
Australian Geographic saw the perfect opportunity with the popularity of its children books and its significant publishing and subscription experience with its Australian Geographic magazine and Journal.
Starting a new magazine and brand extension brings new members to the Australian Geographic Society (founded in 1987 by Dick Smith) with every subscription and grows the society’s potential lifetime audience and commercial footprint. It also delivers on the society’s mission by encouraging the next generation of conservationists.
Since 2015, isubscribe has sold 100,000 subscriptions to ‘kids and teen’ magazines, which is an average of 20,000 kids magazine subscriptions every year.
The reality is the category has been growing at a rate of 10-25 per cent YoY.
While National Geographic KiDS is the most popular title by far, other relatively new publications are consistently increasing their readership, many produced by star-studded organisations that have identified niche content opportunities in the kids market.
Lovatts Media’s Teen Breathe magazine launched in 2017, focusing on mindfulness and wellbeing, now sits at the No.3 most popular kids title on isubscribe surpassing long-time bestsellers K-Zone and Total Girl.
KOOKIE which launched in Australia in 2018, provides female role models and inspiration for young girls. Its subscriptions were up 40 per cent after its first year and sales for 2020 look to be following a similar trend.
The aftermath of the events of 2020 will be an interesting time for magazine publishing. Much of the magazine reading world has been in and out of lockdown and home-schooling.
Communities’ habits, mindsets and experiences have shifted. There are likely great opportunities for savvy children’s brands and magazine publishers that pick their audience and meet them with exciting, educational content.